While organic farming has suffered from declining consumer spend, it retains significant presence in the marketplace and enjoys a consumer base which will not be shifted. This is very different from the recession of the early 1990’s, when UK organics fell completely below the radar.
This is the view of Ian Proctor, Managing Director of Hi Peak Organic Feeds, who believes the current downturn has demonstrated the firmer foundations of UK organics today compared with previous recessions.
“The recession has helped prove organics is here to stay and has actually tested the commitment of producers and united the sector behind first principles,” says Mr Proctor.
“Ironically, the recession has done more to unite the sector behind a common-cause than recent promotional campaigns, which invariably have so many different messages so as to prevent a single message coming through. At the moment, attempts to nationally market organics just tinker at the edges.
“Perhaps now is a good time for organics to revisit basic values and settle on a core message; maybe gaining inspiration from the useful parallel that it is preferable to breath clean air than the alternative!” said Mr Proctor.
Hi Peak Organic Feeds is soon to invite both the organic trade and producers to submit ideas for a single organic slogan that can be targeted at consumers. It says its own market research suggests consumers like the idea of ‘chemical free food’ which essentially eliminates conventional farming practice, particularly industrial farming which is completely out-of-step with public opinion.
Mr Proctor went on to cite Yeo Valley and Rachel’s as well promoted, strong brands from which promoters of the organic brand could learn.
November 3, 2011