We are inspected and licenced by the Soil Association, and their definition of organic farming recognises the direct connection between our health and how the food we eat is produced. Farmers develop fertile soil by rotating crops and using compost, manure and clover.
Strict regulations, known as ‘standards’, define what organic farmers can and cannot do – and place a strong emphasis on the protection of wildlife and the environment.
- Artificial chemical fertilisers are prohibited – instead organic farmers develop a healthy, fertile soil by growing and rotating a mixture of crops, adding organic matter such as compost or manure and using clover to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
- Pesticides are severely restricted – instead organic farmers develop nutrient-rich soil to grow strong, healthy crops and encourage wildlife to help control pests and disease
- Animal welfare is at the heart of the system and a truly free-range life for farm animals is guaranteed
- Animals must only be given drugs to treat an illness – the routine use of antibiotics is prohibited
- A diversity of crops and animals are raised on the farm and rotated around the farm over several seasons, including fallow periods. This mixed farming approach helps break cycles of pests and disease and builds fertility in the soil
- The routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers is banned – instead the farmer will use preventative methods, like moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping smaller herd and flock sizes
- Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned
The gold standard in animal welfareAnimals raised in organic systems enjoy the very highest welfare standards of farmed animals.
A healthy animal is better able to resist disease than a stressed one. Organic livestock farming aims to prevent disease from occurring by promoting health. This is achieved through appropriate diet, high welfare standards for housing, amount of housing space for each animal, and taking measures to reduce stress.
The Sheepdrove Standard of animal welfareWe try to go over and above the very high levels of welfare that the Soil Association insists upon by installing unique rubbing posts, planting herbs for self-medication, providing windbreaks and hedgerows, maintaining family groups and reducing stocking densities until we are satisfied that every animal on our farm lives the most natural life possible, in a stress-free, diverse and stimulating environment.
All of these standards back-up and maintains our ethos, which helps reinforce why we choose to be organic.