Leading organic brands will come together for the first time this weekend (28 September) to promote the benefits of organic food and drink.
The unprecedented collaboration features nine major organic brands, representing over £100 million of the UK’s organic sales.
Coordinated by Soil Association Certification, the UK’s largest organic certification body, the nine household brands will come together on the final weekend of Organic September 2019 for a harmonised push to boost consumer understanding of organic as a way for shoppers to reduce their impact on the environment through their diets.
As part of the month-long celebration of organic, the brands – Yeo Valley, Arla Organic, Whole Earth, Plenish, Clipper, Alara Organic, Kallo and Percol, as well as So Organic suppliers and trade body the Organic Trade Board – will join together to run instore education and promotions on organic in 30 Sainsbury’s stores across the country on Sunday 28 September.
The front-of-store events will feature brand experts, Soil Association staff and organic farmers engaging with shoppers, as well as sales offers, information leaflets and in-store sampling.
Any shoppers who purchase an organic item from the brands involved will take home an organic cotton tote bag and a packet of grow-your-own seeds, to encourage wildlife into their home gardens.
The alliance comes as sales of organic continue to grow across the UK’s supermarkets. New figures released by Nielsen Scantrack for the 52 weeks to the end of June 2019 show that growth in supermarket sales of organic continues to outpace non-organic, growing at 4% against non-organic growth of just 1.5%.
Analysis of its annual Organic Market Report by Soil Association Certification found consistent growth in sales of organic in the UK’s supermarkets since 2014, amounting to a 25% rise in sales over this period. Success stories include organic beers, wines and spirits, up nearly 95%, and canned and packed organic, up approximately 50%; while sales of organic deli products have more than doubled in size in the last five years.
Research conducted by Soil Association Certification in summer 2019 shows that a marked growth in concerns about the environment and biodiversity is playing an active role in determining consumers’ shopping choices. The organic brands hope to leverage heightened awareness of the climate crisis to start up a conversation about the environmental benefits of organic.
Bryan Martins, Wessanen UK marketing director, said: “With growing awareness around the devastating human impact on our planet, the time for consumers to act is now. Small changes like switching to organic, can make the world of difference to both people and planet. We’re delighted to be working with other like-minded brands with strong natural and ethical credentials during Organic September, to show the difference people can make by choosing Organic.”
Among the environmental benefits organic can bring, research has found that wildlife, such as bees and butterflies, is up to 50% more abundant on organic farms, in part because of the hugely reduced use of chemicals. A separate study found that if all of Europe used farming techniques like organic, it would remove the use of 380,000 tonnes of pesticides a year.
Clare McDermott, Business Development Director, Soil Association Certification, said: “The time for organic is now. More and more shoppers want to reduce their impact on the planet, and organic offers a proven, workable solution to do just that. This collaboration is all about getting organic in front of people and showing them how they can make a difference.
“Anything we can encourage citizens to do from visiting an independent organic retailer to buying organic milk at the local supermarket to discovering more about what organic means or visiting their local organic farm or market, helps to support the organic movement.”