Toni Dipple from Organic Ilford
Organic Ilford is a not-for-profit social enterprise that brings local chemical-free food to Redbridge and the surrounding boroughs through direct trade with ecological farmers. We keep our overheads low to ensure a fair deal for both our farmers and customers and reinvest our profits to support a community-scale food chain and sustainable agriculture.
It began with Ilford resident, Toni Lötter’s childhood passion for growing food on an allotment in Goodmayes with her mum and dad and developed into a need to help to make nutritious, fresh food grown naturally according to the seasons available and affordable to our community.
Organic Ilford cic began trading in May 2014with the practical support and talents of Toni’s mum, Carol, and mentoring from the Growing Communities Start-up programme.
Organic Ilford – why we’re a BFT
We source fresh chemical-free vegetables, fruit, bread, milk and eggs from small-scale farms, local growers & artisanal producers. Our farmers only use ecological methods – absolutely no chemicals or GMOs – and work hard to improve soil health.
We prioritise sourcing produce from farms as close to Redbridge as possible. During the hungry gap we do need to supplement UK and local-grown veg and fruit with some seasonal produce from Europe. We only import produce by boat and never include anything that’s been air freighted.
We work directly with a handful of small-scale UK farmers and wholesalers we know and trust. We pay our farmers a fair price for their produce which helps them stay in business and brings about a fairer, more resilient food system. This in turn supports their local communities and environment. We employ local people at a fair wage and reinvesting any surplus profits in community food projects.
Being a member of our box scheme is not just about delicious, chemical-free produce, it’s about being part of an organisation that’s trying to positively change what we eat, how we eat and how it’s farmed. Organic Ilford is a Community Interest Company, which means the money spent by our veg bag customers stays in the community, so in effect, our customers are directly investing in improving where they live.
Organic Ilford is a business which focuses on local solutions to global problems through the power of local spend and contributing in a practical and positive way to the health and well-being of our community and environment. We will reinvest any surplus profits in community food projects.