Your vote counts!

Date Published: 08/03/2011

We were delighted to discover that our very own R&D Officer, Steven Jacobs, has been shortlisted for the Natural Products Outstanding Achievement Award.

Steven Jacobs in action at one of his events
A rare photo of Steven Jacobs in action at one of his events

Steven has been shortlisted alongside some very notable names from the organic world for this prestigious title and we’d like to share with you why he deserves to be in this fine company – and maybe encourage you to add your vote if you are part of the organic and natural sector.

The recognition of even being in the list comes from Steven’s hard work on two events that have become major features of the organic calendar: National Organic Cereals and our Selling Organic conferences.

It’s worth stressing that the shortlisting is not his own work. We put him forward without his knowledge and our submission was backed by voluntary testimonials from some of those who have worked with him on the events, for which we’re extremely grateful. When he got shortlisted we had to come clean. He was shocked but took it well for a man who definitely doesn’t seek publicity for himself (quite the opposite, in fact).

Opportunities for the organic sector to take a long hard look at key facets of what it does and how it does it have been limited in the past. True focus on key areas (the arable market, in the case of National Organic Cereals, and overall marketing and messages, in the case of Selling Organic) has been lacking and only by putting these areas in the spotlight can we hope to build on the strengths of the sector.

Steven’s extremely hard work has now seen a number of events that have attracted the great and the good of organics (and of retailing in general) to get together and share their knowledge. Top notch speaker line-ups have included industry leaders, representatives from the top multiple retailers, industry analysts with critical insight and case studies from those delivering results, such as Yeo Valley and Rachel’s.

These events have led to quality debate and knowledge sharing that would not have otherwise taken place. The high calibre of speakers and exhibitors at each of the day-long events has been down to Steven’s persistence, deep understanding of the sector and excellent contacts.

We’re extremely proud of him for getting shortlisted, which is great recognition for his work in itself. But we’d love to see him go on and take the award for all of his hard work and commitment – and we should stress that none of these events have put anything extra in his or OF&Gs’ pockets!

If you think Steven is deserving of your vote, we would encourage you to visit the voting page on the Natural Products magazine website and add your voice. Voting is quick and straightforward and it would mean a lot to us and to Steven particularly.

If you haven’t made it to any of the events we’re describing, why not take a look at our Flickr account, where you’ll find full sets of pictures showing just how well attended they all were!