Opportunites for growth to be discussed at UK Organic Congress

8th November 2018

‘Going for growth’ is the theme of this year’s UK Organic Congress being held at Dunchurch Park Hotel, Rugby on 15 and 16 November 2018.

A joint initiative founded by leading organic organisations including OF&G (Organic Farmers and Growers), the Soil Association and the Organic Research Centre (ORC), the event will see key industry stakeholders come together to discuss the future of organic in the food and farming industry.

The UK organic food market has grown rapidly by 6-7% in the last year, and this is partly due to a global movement of change in what consumers eat and how food is produced. But, the UK is still lagging behind other European countries that are achieving over 20% annual growth and food market shares of over 10%.

With a food industry that is responsive to consumer demand, there is scope for UK producers to convert to organic. However, reaching the potential for organic food production in the UK, especially in light of Brexit uncertainty, requires a fresh approach to ensure core organic principles and expectations across the supply chain can be delivered.

Key speakers at the Congress include Sue Hayman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who will discuss the role of UK organic farming, and the challenges and opportunities faced in agricultural policy, post-Brexit.

Paul Holmbeck, Organic Denmark director, will also speak at the event, to explain how organic farming became successful in Denmark, and what practices could be transferrable to the UK.

“OF&G are delighted to be a key partner. With an excellent line up of speakers, the Congress provides a great opportunity to debate the contribution organic food and farming systems make to simultaneously delivering key public benefits,” says Steven Jacobs, OF&G business development manager.

Liz Bowles, the Soil Association’s head of farming says a collaborative approach is needed. “The Congress comes at a time when organic businesses and stakeholders need to come together to challenge how the sector should take opportunities offered by the consistent growth in UK demand for organic food.”

Nic Lampkin, ORC’s CEO and English Organic Forum chair adds the Congress will highlight the innovative nature of the organic sector leading change for sustainable food systems. “It’ll feature the new industry-led organic action plan in England, and many other examples of organic organisations working together to make real change happen.”

Event tickets sales will cease after Monday 12 November

Tickets available online here

Speakers at the 2018 UK Organic Congress:

  • Roger Kerr, OF&G chief executive
  • Sue Hayman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Paul Holmbeck, Organic Denmark director
  • Louise Luttkholt, IFOAM Organics International executive director
  • Alison Johnson, Food Forensics managing director
  • Philippa Mansfield, Natural England Catchment Sensitive Farming programme manager
  • James Campbell, Garden Organic chief executive
  • John Pawsey, NFU Organic Forum chair