The Five Point Plan To Sell More Organic Food


Lots of people in the organic world are currently thinking about how we can sell more organic food. The signs are good – the sector has turned the corner  after a difficult period last year (market information here www.soilassociation.org/Businesses/Marketinformation/tabid/116/Default.aspx ). However it is noticeable that other ethical sectors such as Fairtrade are showing stronger growth than organics. What can we learn from this?

One reason that Fairtrade has done so well even during the recession is that it offers a single, simple message – buy Fairtrade and you help disadvantaged farmers. In comparison organics offers a myriad of benefits which can lead to consumer confusion. The Organic Trade Board talked to 3,000 organic buyers  ( www.whyiloveorganic.co.uk/reasons-to-love ) and concluded that these are the top five reasons why consumers buy organic:

  • more natural and unprocessed
  • better for the planet
  • tastes better
  • better for health
  • restricted use of pesticides

At least some of these five reasons will work for most products and most consumers. By focussing on these five simple clear statements we can help consumers justify to themselves the increased cost of buying organic.

More challenging is getting the tone of communication right. Again, Fairtrade has fared better than organics because it has made a stronger emotional connection between consumers and producers. Real people grow organic food and we should talk about them more. Abel and Cole are good at doing this ( www.abelandcole.co.uk/blog/category/great-growers ).  Not only are organic producers passionate about the crops they grow they are also amongst the most committed guardians of our countryside, and we should make more of this.

The theme of this years Organic Fortnight (September 3-17) is ‘Choose Organic Everyday” and if everyone just buys one organic product per day the UK market will be revitalised. No great sacrifice with so much great-tasting organic food and drink available at increasingly affordable prices. Let’s do it!