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Organic leaders to debate industry future

Date Published: 14/07/2010

As the UK organic sector gears up for the biggest promotional push of its existence, industry leaders and experts are to gather for one of the year’s headline events.

A packed hall at Selling Organic 2009
A packed hall at Selling Organic 2009

Selling Organic: The Next Chapter follows on from a highly successful inaugural event held in London in 2009.

In October this year key figures from retailing, processing, production and marketing will once again get together to debate the progress of the sector and examine ways to ensure the continued growth of organic food and farming.

The enthusiastic response to last year’s event, Selling Organic: What’s the Story?, has led to leading control body, Organic Farmers & Growers, once again teaming up with Organic Conferences Ltd to encourage debate and information sharing within the sector.

Selling Organic: The Next Chapter will take place at the Barceló Oxford Hotel, Oxford, on October 14, and already has the backing of major sponsors, including Tesco, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Doves Farm and This Is Organics.

Delegates will hear from representatives of key bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority and the European Commission, as well as industry figures and leading researchers.

Chief Executive of Organic Farmers & Growers, Richard Jacobs, is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Organic Standards (ACOS). He explained: “Last year we saw the need to put sharp focus on the messages and marketing of organics because we weren’t getting key information to consumers. Since then we’ve moved a long way as a sector, particularly with the successful Organic UK bid for European funding to properly promote the benefits of organic food and farming, which is a huge step.

“This year we’re moving the discussion on to what the sector needs to do next. The conference is returning because of the overwhelming positive response we received from last year’s delegates and their insistence that we should keep a focus on our industry’s progress.”

During the course of the day topics examined will include buyer behaviour, market intelligence, an update on the Organic UK campaign and permitted and prohibited marketing language.

The day will culminate with an Organic Question Time featuring a panel of experts.

Confirmed speakers for the conference include Professor Carlo Leifert, of Newcastle University, Ed Garner, of Kantar Worldpanel, Professor Andrew Fearne, of Kent Business School, plus representatives from Tesco Stores Ltd, the European Commission, Haygarth, the communications agency behind the Organic UK campaign, and the Advertising Standards Authority.

Full information on the conference, along with booking details, can be found at http://www.sellingorganic.co.uk/.