The winners of the 2008 Soil Association Awards for best organic products are a mix of the well-known and new up and coming. The delicious Duke of Cambridge gastropub won for a second time as best organic restaurant, and rightly so, for their efforts to be organic and environmental. They have been at it since 1998 and now about 80% of their fresh produce is sourced from the local area; its fish-buying policy was the first in the country to be approved by the Marine Conservation Society. Also famous is Neal's Yard, their White Tea Enriching Facial Mask won, an acknowledgement of a company that has also been at the forefront of organic and natural remedies since 1981. Origins, around since 1990 won for their Body Pampering Massage Oil.
Under surprises: best organic textile product Beaumont Organic which is a new, gorgeous, line of organic cotton clothing. It looks simple, elegant and very sophisticated. Made in a small factory in Portugal, with cotton from certified organic farmers and transported by truck to the UK, the company was started this year by a young woman who used to work in the fashion industry. She donates 1% of her profits to a school in Fiji where she taught formerly.
Two shops, both worth a trip out of London: Best Small Shop: Growing With Grace is in Yorkshire. It is a social enterprise organic farm shop (pictured) that is run as a co-op. They also deliver boxed vegetables.
Best Large Shop: Infinity Foods Shop & Bakery (pictured) is located in hip and lovely Brighton, by the sea. The store has the largest selection of organic and natural vegetarian and vegan foods in the area and given Brighton's reputation as a very cool place to live, it should grow and grow.
Abel & Cole, another old-timer, has been delivering boxed fruit and vegetables for twenty years and won for best internet delivery service. Best babycare product: Eselle Organics Baby Bottom Balm. :: Soil Association