Community co-operative Organiclea has been voted best Producer at London’s inaugral Urban Food Awards.

The food growing project, which started on a derelict allotment,, has grown to a 12-acre site and was honoured during a gala ceremony at Whole Foods Market in Kensington.

Organiclea has thirty volunteers, a mix of the young, retired people, the long-term unemployed and people with mental health issues, who are involved in growing and learning about production of organic vegetables and fruit.

They tend to land at Hawkwood Plant Nursery in Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, which Organiclea took over from Waltham Forest council in 2009.

Produce is distributed by electric milkfloat to its Saturday market stalls in Walthamstow and Leytonstone.

80 small food enterprises entered the Urban Food competition and more than 2,400 voted to shortlist the finalists, before a panel of experts selected the winners at the cermony on Thursday.

Walthamstow's The Wild Card Brewery, in Shernhall Street, and Orford Road's EAT17 came in as runners up in the competition.

Judge Rosie Boycott said she was "blown away" by the variety of the entries:

“These are enterprises that are providing great grub, often from ingredients produced locally, whilst also delivering a huge range of added extras including employment and volunteering opportunities for Londoners,” she added.

Jen Hawkes, a member of Organiclea workers’ cooperative said: “We are delighted to be recognised for carrying on the rich food growing heritage of the Lea Valley.

“We thank all the people who have volunteered with us, trained with us, bought our produce and supported Organiclea to make our work possible.”