A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Our Vision

Our vision is of a socially and environmentally just food system where the means of production and distribution, including access to land, seed and water are controlled not by markets or corporations but by the people themselves. We are working to create just production and trading systems that provide a fair income to food producers and guarantee the rights of communities to access healthy and nutritious food produced using ecologically sound and sustainable methods, a food system existing in a wider context of social justice.


Access to land, seed and water

The continuing privatisation and commoditisation of land, seed and water jeopardise the creation of socially and environmentally just food systems. Addressing and overcoming the obstacles that prevent food producers from having greater access to and control over land, seed and water are fundamental to the ethics of what we do.

We believe that:

  • Small-scale food producers should have greater access to and control over the land they use for food production;
  • Access to land must be free from discrimination of all kinds;
  • The skills necessary for small scale food production should be made more available;
  • Small producers should have the right to save, sow and sell their own seeds;
  • Seeds should not be open to commoditisation through intellectual property rights or contamination by Genetically Modified seeds;
  • Water exists for the benefit of all living beings and it should be under public, democratic, local and sustainable management;
  • Access to water should be a right guaranteed to producers who use ecologically sound methods of production;

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Just production & trading systems

We believe that:

  • Food should be consumed as close as practicable to where it is grown;
  • The supply chain between producer, retailer and consumer should be as small as possible;
  • Food should be grown, distributed and processed by small-scale operations;
  • The production, distribution and processing should safeguard decent rights, conditions and rewards for all workers, and ideally be democratically owned and controlled by the workers/ the community.

More on our growing and sourcing principles.

More on what it means to be a co-operative.


What do we mean by ecologically sound and sustainable methods?

For us, this means:

  • Working with natural processes to build soil life, fertility and structure as the basis for plant and human health;
  • Sustainable use of natural resources and minimum reliance on outside inputs;
  • Avoidance of chemical fertilisers and pesticides;
  • Maintenance of biodiversity and respect for wildlife;
  • Avoidance of genetically modified organisms.

Additionally, we believe that current levels of consumption of meat and animal products are disastrous in terms of planetary and human health and animal rights/welfare, and that a just and sustainable food system and diet should be predominantly plant-based.

More on our growing and sourcing principles.

More on our permaculture approach.


What is social justice?

We understand social justice to exist when society is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, when it places need before profit and when it is free from oppression and discrimination of all kinds. Social justice can be difficult to define and changes with the dynamics of exclusion in society. For us it is an aim we strive for in the work we do.

More on our considerations of people and community.

More on what it means to be a co-operative.

We want to see a world based on equality and co-operation, where people can take control over all aspects of their lives. Taking collective control over our own work is a starting point. We aim to reduce reliance on exploitative structures and build a secure base from which to challenge injustice and encourage others to do so.


OrganicLea’s Mission Statement:

We produce and distribute food and plants locally, and inspire and support others to do the same. With a workers’ co-operative at our core, we bring people together to take action towards a more just and sustainable society.



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