It’s no secret that more consumers are buying organic produce than ever before with UK sales of organic products reaching £2.2bn, up 4% on last year – but what are the real benefits of organic and why should consumers make the switch?
This Organic September Clipper Teas wants to shed some light on why the brand believes in organic so strongly and share what it does differently in the production of its natural, fair & delicious organic teas.
What does it mean to be organic?
Organic is food you can trust and is better for the environment. Organic means working with nature, not against it, ultimately producing goods in harmony with wildlife.
In terms of food & drink, organic goods must be fully certified by law, meaning that consumers can have complete trust that products and ingredients come from verified sources. The Soil Association is the leading organic certification scheme, and all organic farmers and processors are inspected at least once a year – it is the most rigorous of any independent food standard audit process, so the Soil Association organic label is the best way of assuring that the food we eat has been produced to a standard you can trust.
But how is a product organic? Well…
In organic farming, natural methods are relied upon to control pests and disease, and these alternatives may include well-designed crop rotations, encouraging natural predators, and developing good soil and healthy crops which have natural resistance to pests and diseases.
Why choose organic?
There is an abundance of environmental, health and welfare benefits for choosing organic produce.
For example, if half of all farming in the European Union converted to organic by 2030, it could cut almost a quarter (23%) of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions simply by increased soil carbon sequestration and reduced use of mineral fertilisers.
In terms of using fewer pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, organic farming can reduce water pollution and provide a haven for wildlife to flourish thanks to a natural, sustainable farmland environment that is well managed and treated.
On the other hand, it is believed that over the last 40 years almost a third of the world’s arable soils have been lost to erosion or pollution, and with it taking around a hundred years for just one centimetre of topsoil to form, it’s estimated that we’re losing the equivalent of 30 football pitches of fertile soil every minute. By choosing organic and supporting organically certified methods of production, soil fertility can be built naturally thus increasing crop growth thanks to a more diverse range of microbes living in the soil.
How is Clipper supporting organic production?
Clipper is on a mission to convert more gardens to organic tea production and recognise that it demands real commitment and attention to detail, backed up by rigorous, independent inspection and certification from the Soil Association.
At one of the brand’s long-standing tea gardens in the Nilgiris Mountains of Southern India, Clipper has helped the estates convert to a variety of organic methods to produce its tea. For example, the Camellia Sinensis (tea plants) are now being fertilised with nitrogen from cow manure. When the dung arrives at the plantation, it is dried before it is mixed with thousands of worms to help aerate it – the compost is then rotated until ready. Complementing this, the plantation is experimenting with an algae farm and a compost trial with local waste foods. By avoiding using pesticides and GM ingredients, this not only benefits the plantation environment but also the tea workers who don’t need to spray the plants with chemicals.
Additionally, the Clipper Southern Indian estates have seen wildlife like bison returning to the area which reflects research that shows that, on average, plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms.
Making the switch to organic
Making the switch to organic doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be as simple as choosing Clipper Everyday Organic Tea.
A deliciously refreshing and full-bodied blend of quality black tea, sourced from the finest organic tea gardens, the Clipper Everyday Organic Tea can be purchased from Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Ocado at RRP £3.80 for 100 bags.