Soil Association seeks wider distribution for organic cheese with March ‘showcase’ event
Retailers will be able to sample cheeses from around 30 Soil Association-licensed producers at the organisation’s first Organic Cheese Showcase, taking place in Wiltshire on March 6.
Both independent and supermarket buyers are being invited to attend the event, at Winkworth Farm near Malmesbury.
According to Soil Association trade consultant Finn Cottle, the aim is to raise awareness among trade buyers of the “quality and choice” of organic cheese.
Data from researcher Nielsen suggests the total organic market has stabilised over the past year and is showing “buoyant growth” in many areas.
However, while sales of organic milk and yoghurts are up 3.4% and 6.7% respectively, organic cheese sales have fallen 2.3%, which the Soil Assocation attributes to lack of availability in the mainstream market.
“Apart from Sainsbury, who display a credible range of ‘So Organic’ cheese, there is little else accessible to the supermarket shopper,” said Cottle.
She added: “Once it is more accessible on-shelf and consumers are aware of its benefits, the market growth will follow.”
Products being sampled at the Organic Cheese Showcase will range from traditional British territorials to goats’ cheeses, mozzarella, and other soft varieties.
There will also be a series of short presentations outlining the consumer market for organic cheese as well as case studies featuring export success stories.
Retailers or producers interested in attending should contact Katie Stinchcombe at the Soil Association.
Image: Hafod Welsh organic cheddar