Are you composting your tea bags?

Tea leaves are a good addition to the compost heap.  However, tea bags are not. We have updated our advice on composting tea bags, with the knowledge that most bags include very small amounts of plastic.

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EU safety agency concludes that neonic pesticides are a threat to bees

In a new and comprehensive report, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), confirms that neonicotinoid pesticides seriously affect pollinators such as bees. This report will boost the call for tighter regulation of the chemicals.
The current EU/UK ban on just three neonics ran out last year. Garden Organic has consistently campaigned for the ban to be extended.  “This report certainly strengthens the case for further restrictions on neonicotinoid use,” writes Prof Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex, Brighton.

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Further update on the Ryton site – 22nd February 2018

Further to the statement below, posted on Tuesday 13th February, we can confirm that we have now received a number of expressions of interest in our site at Ryton, from wide ranging sources and for a variety of purposes.

At the moment these expressions of interest contain only headline information with minimal detail. The next step will be to meet with interested parties and begin discussions to understand the detail behind each one. This will be a complex and potentially lengthy process but as and when we have any further updates we will continue to publish them on our website.

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France leads the way with organic public sector procurement

France has announced that by 2022 at least half of all food bought by the public sector must be organic or locally produced.  This includes food bought for use in schools, hospitals and prisons. The French Agricultural Minister Stéphane Travert announced the new rules as part of measures to boost the French farming sector, and to improve diets.

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Southwark Food Poverty Alliance

Garden Organic brings together alliance to address food poverty in Southwark

Garden Organic yesterday hosted the third meeting of the Southwark Food Power Alliance as part of the charity’s London Food Poverty – Southwark project, helping to fight food insecurity in the London Borough of Southwark.

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Further research on the benefits of organic food

There is much research into the differences between organic and chemically grown foods. As well as plenty of anecdotal evidence that growing and eating organic foods is beneficial to health.  But proving this scientifically can be difficult.  This article, by Garden Organic Trustee Dr Andrew Collins, explores some recent research.

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IFOAM declares new genetic engineering techniques not compatible with organic growing

IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements) has published a position paper on the new genetic engineering techniques. The aim is provide clarity on what breeding techniques are compatible with organic systems. This comes at a crucial time when these new breeding techniques (NBTs) are under consideration by EU lawmakers as to whether they should be treated in the same way as GMOs.

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Ryton Gardens update January 2018

In September 2017, Garden Organic wrote to all members to announce that the running costs of our base at Ryton were limiting our ability to reach our full potential, and we would be exploring a number of options for the site that are in the best interest of the long-term future of the charity.

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CEO James Campbell with the Dobies team.

The Organic Gardening Catalogue

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Dobies to produce The Organic Gardening Catalogue.


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UK rivers heavily contaminated by pesticides

Eight rivers in England are heavily contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) that threaten insects, fish and birds. Two of the rivers, the Waveney between Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Tame in the West Midlands, had an “acute level” of pollution, according to tests conducted by the Environment Agency. Neonics are used by farmers and are known to threaten bees and other crucial pollinators. Although some were banned on 2013, the ban only exists on flowering crops, such as oil seed rape.

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