Posted: 23/04/2015

Soil Association offers free support to indies selling organic products

The Soil Association will offer free support, including merchandising and marketing advice, to independent retailers looking to grow sales of organic food and drink.

The organic accreditation body’s announcement comes in the wake of its 2015 Organic Market Report, which revealed that sales across independents were exceeding £10m per week and outpacing those in supermarkets.

At the end of April, the Soil Association will make a variety of items free to download from its website. These include point of sale materials, information on how to talk about organic and marketing advice

The support pack has been tailored to aid a range of independent suppliers, such as delis, farm shops and health stores as well as online retailers caterers and wholesalers.

It will run alongside a new media initiative in partnership with the Organic Trade Board, called Naturally Different, that will include a separate launch event for consumers to drive demand.

Soil Association trade relations manager Lee Holdstock said there has been change in consumer behaviour towards buying organic as part of smaller, more frequent shopping trips at independent and specialist stores.

“Retailers have told us they want more information about how to communicate the many benefits of organic to their customers, and this new package of support will help with education and accessibility,” he said. “By leveraging existing interest in the organic products on offer, we can help support independent retailers and consequently build a stronger organic market.”

Phil Haughton, founder and owner of Bristol organic shop The Better Food Company, is also backing the campaign.

“The more training and support we can get the stronger we will be, leading to happier customers, sales growth and improved service and professionalism from our suppliers,” he said.

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