Founded by Louise Docherty and Philipp Grunewald in December 2022, Upper Ballaird is a farm cooperative endeavouring to provide good local food for all.
Louise said: “Both of us had been striving independently to start up a not-for-profit local growing business.
“After a chance meeting we discovered our values and ideas aligned.
“So, in 2022 we set about making our shared vision a reality.”
Concerned by the lack of transparency and fairness in the way food is produced, Louise and Philipp are helping rebuild a fairer food system from the ground up.
Louise said: “It is important to us to grow fairly, for people and the environment.
“We want to play an active part in changing our food system for the better and that’s about making changes that benefit people and planet by following agroecological principles.
“We use a method of regenerative farming that works with the local ecology and environment.”
Philipp brings a lifetime of growing experience to the project. Growing up in a plant nursery, he went onto study business at university before specialising in sustainable horticulture. Over the past decade, he has brought about positive change by co-founding a vegan takeaway, an indoor low-tech mushroom farm, and Kent Food Hubs CIC.
Co-director Louise retrained to pursue a career in farming, achieving a master’s degree in organic farming in 2021.
She said: “I split my time between study and practical work which allowed me to travel and work on many different farms during my studies.
“I have a particular interest in the role of farming in reducing the impacts of climate change and supporting biodiversity, as well as in helping others understand where their food comes from.”
The contents of Upper Ballaird’s veg boxes are all locally grown, as Louise explained:
“Many vegetables are eaten out of season and travel many miles overseas to our plates. But everything in our veg boxes has been grown here on the farm by us. We offer a sustainable product with a low carbon footprint, that is fair on workers, consumers, and the environment.
“We are also currently looking at developing a solidarity veg box in collaboration with G63 Hub which is offered on a pay as you can basis.”
Upper Ballaird Farm Coop Ltd
Upper Ballaird Farm
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