Duchy Originals is celebrating its 25th anniversary
Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, Duchy Originals has come a long way in 25 years since the first product, the ever-popular oaten biscuit, went on sale. Waitrose Duchy Organic is now the UK’s largest own-label organic brand and the second largest UK organic brand overall.
Created from a groundbreaking partnership between Duchy Originals and Waitrose, it is built on the shared principles of Good Food, Good Farming, and Good Causes set out in our Good Food Charter.
There are over 300 Waitrose Duchy Organic products in the range, from everyday vegetables and milk to noteworthy ales and biscuits.
As well as Waitrose’s high quality standards, every Waitrose Duchy Organic product has to meet Soil Association (or comparable) organic standards. Produce and grains must be grown without reliance on artificial chemicals or fertilisers, and animals must be raised on an organic diet without the routine use of antibiotics.
In keeping with Duchy’s heritage, British sourcing is always our first choice. From Welsh lamb and Scottish salmon to English oats, we select quality products from across the UK wherever we can. Where a reliable British supply isn’t available due to climate or seasonal availability, we make an organic choice available via reputable growers around the world. Organic bananas, teas and marmalade are amongst our best loved global products.
Organic food is farmed in harmony with nature, with respect for animals and the environment.
- Artificial chemical fertilisers are prohibited. Farmers use natural foods such as green compost or manure, which nourish plants and to help develop a healthy, resilient soil. They may also plant clover, which takes nitrogen out of the air and fixes it naturally into soil.
- The use of pesticides is severely restricted. Instead, organic farmers develop nutrient-rich soil to grow strong, healthy crops, and encourage wildlife to help control pests and disease.
- Organically farmed animals enjoy high welfare standards, and are given freedom to roam outside wherever possible. Our organic dairy cows and sheep are encouraged to graze on natural pastures, free from chemical fertilisers or pesticides, and our organic hens enjoy more room to roam than standard free-range birds. The routine use of antibiotics is banned, with farmers focusing instead on preventative methods such as keeping smaller herd and flock sizes.
The Duchy Future Farming Programme, run in partnership with the Soil Association, supports farmers in conducting research into organic farming methods. Recent projects have explored the use of uddermint as an alternative to antibiotics in dairy cows, and the effectiveness of green manures in building soil fertility. Over 3000 farmers have been involved in ‘Field Labs’ to date. To find out more about the range of techniques being investigated visit the Duchy Future Farming Programme website.
Registered Charity 1127255 (England and Wales)
It’s not just the environment that benefits from your organic choice. Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, supporting good causes across the UK. Founded in 1979 and inspired by the values of harmony and sustainability, The Charitable Foundation aims to transform lives and build sustainable communities. For more information about the wide range of projects supported, including the Duchy Future Farming Programme, visit The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation website.
As part of our Good Food Charter, we have committed to reducing packaging wherever where possible - and to finding more sustainable packaging solutions. In September 2015, a new egg box made from a mixture of rye grass and recycled paper was introduced for Waitrose Duchy Organic eggs. A UK first, the new box is predicted to save 77 tons of wood and paper per year, and requires 60% less water to produce than standard egg boxes.