Organic September and Helen Browning

Organic September is an initiative set up by the Soil Association to celebrate and promote the value and benefits of organic farming to consumers, who want sustainable and healthy food they can trust. The core strength of organic is the sector’s inherent sustainability impact and as we also celebrate fifty years of certification it is becoming increasingly apparent that ‘organic’ is perfectly placed to deliver on today’s consumer demands.

The latest Soil Association Market report recorded an on-going growth for businesses and consumers, the organic food and drink market grew 1.6% to £3.1 billion in 2022.

Here at OLMC we have traded more organic store cattle in the last four months than we have done in years and the store lamb trade looks extremely positive going into the autumn.

Organic September is an opportunity to highlight the success story of a pioneer of sustainable farming during the last fifty years. Helen Browning is Chief Executive of the Soil Association though her passion and determination to be a “proper farmer” began at the tender age of nine. This declaration was taken very seriously by her father on the family farm at Eastbrook, Wiltshire and he handed over the reins to his daughter just fifteen years later. Helen converted the farm to organic and went on to found Eastbrook Farm Organic Meats and the Helen Browning Organic brand.

She has held a number of public appointments including the ‘Curry Commission’ on the Future of Farming and Food,  the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission and the Meat and Livestock Commission. She was Director of External Affairs at the National Trust and has been chair of the Food Ethics Council (2002 – 2016).

Helen was appointed an OBE in 1998 for her services to organic farming, and became a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire in 2015.

Alongside all these accolades Helen’s message is simple; “Of all the benefits I love about organic farming – the wildlife, the landscape, the delicious food – what motivates me more than anything is allowing our animals to have as good a life as possible.”

This quote succinctly sums up the philosophy behind Organic September 2023.

Photograph taken at the OLMC AGM during a farm walk at Eastbrook.