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Spotlight to be turned on marketing organics

Date Published: 14/07/2009

As the organic sector is quickly arriving at the conclusion that it needs better marketing, a new conference has been announced that will see the industry’s heavy hitters share their expertise.

Conference organisers Annette Bertram (left) and Alison Lidbetter with OF&G chief executive, Richard Jacobs
Conference organisers Annette Bertram (left) and Alison Lidbetter with OF&G chief executive, Richard Jacobs

Conference organisers Annette Bertram (left) and Alison Lidbetter with OF&G chief executive, Richard Jacobs

Organic Conferences Ltd and leading certifier, Organic Farmers & Growers, have teamed-up to launch Selling Organic: What’s the Story?, a one-day event to be held in London in October.

Key speakers on the day will include Craig Sams, founder and president of Green & Black’s, Lawrence Woodward OBE, director of Organic Research Centre – Elm Farm, and marketing director of Rachel’s, Steve Clarke.

The conference will examine current consumer attitudes to organic food, reveal telling academic research on its promotion and marketing, with Dr Matt Reed, as well as investigating the specifics of creating and selling organics as a brand, drawing on the experience of those who have “been there and done it”.

Selling Organic: What’s the Story? will bring together stakeholders in all areas of the organic industry including producers, distributors, marketers, processors, on-farm processors, traders and retailers.

There will also be a briefing by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, on a UK-wide initiative it is co-ordinating with the aim of delivering a unified promotional campaign on the benefits of organics.

Annette Bertram, of Organic Conferences Ltd, explained: “There are many issues around organic food, but we are very clear that not much time has been spent talking as a sector on how to get the key messages across to consumers. This conference will be clearly focused on learning from research and sharing best practice. It will be a very practical day, with plenty of opportunity for audience participation, and it’s our intention that everyone should leave having been energised by what they’ve learned!”

Richard Jacobs, chief executive of Organic Farmers & Growers, said: “The organic sector seems to have recently woken up to the fact that it has not done a good job of marketing its key messages. The many and varied benefits of organic food and farming are getting lost in the obsession with price and in confusion over various, competing food labels. It’s time to get the essentials right and for everyone to be very clear about what we need to tell our customers. This conference is one hundred per cent about doing that.”

Selling Organic: What’s the Story? will be held at London’s Southbank University on October 8, 2009. More information and an online booking form can be found at the Organic Conferences website.