Full Agenda: Organic on the Road to 2030

Part one

  • 15:00: Introduction and welcome by event host, Rebecca Smithers, freelance consumer journalist and former consumer affairs correspondent for The Guardian
  • 15:05: Welcome and introduction by Clare McDermott, Business Development Director, Soil Association Certification
  • 15:10: Keynote speech: 'The National Food Strategy: How to create a food system that is good for us and good for the planet': Henry Dimbleby, Author of the National Food Strategy
  • 15:25: Keynote Q&A with Henry Dimbleby and Rebecca Smithers
  • 15:35: 'UK Organic Market Update': The latest UK organic market figures and performance: Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, NielsenIQ
  • 15:45: 'Sustainability and Organic: joining the… dots': Launching our 2021 shopper insight on the influences driving the organic shopper and how to maximise them: Gael Laurie, Brand Building Director, The Crow Flies
  • 15:55: Panel Q&A with Mike Watkins, Gael Laurie and Clare McDermott, chaired by Rebecca Smithers

Part two 

  • 16:20: Hear from leading organic brands on how their businesses have adapted to the changing market and shopper motivations. Featuring Thain Coventry, Head of Strategic Buying, Milk & More and Catriona Mantle, Senior Category & Brand Manager – Organic, Arla Foods.
  • 16:40: Q&A chaired by Rebecca Smithers. 
  • 16:55: Thank you and close: Clare McDermott, Soil Association Certification
  • 17:00: Live broadcast ends

Meet the speakers

This free, live broadcast of expert presentations, panel discussions and Q&As explores how the organic market has developed since we reported annual growth of 12.6% in February 2021 and discusses the possibilities of the future of organic in a post-Covid and Brexit world.

Keynote: Henry Dimbleby, Author of the National Food Strategy

Henry has dedicated his life's work to sustainable and fair food for all: including as co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, co-author of The School Food Plan (2013) which led, among other things, to the introduction of mandatory food education for all children up to the age of 14 and Universal Infant Free School Meals, and being appointed as lead non-executive board member of DEFRA in March 2018. Most recently, Henry has been the lead author for the National Food Strategy, the government-commissioned independent review into the UK food system.

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at NielsenIQ

With over 30 year’s retail experience, Mike Watkins is responsible for commercial development with food, non-food and e-commerce retailers at NielsenIQ in the UK. He is a lead contributor of thought leadership and regularly shares his viewpoints on the 'State of the Nation' with the media and at Conferences. As a member of the Global Thought Leadership team, he supports retailer, manufacturer and financial services clients with retail, business and shopper insight for Europe. Mike is also a member of the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank.

Gael Laurie, The Crow Flies

Gael Laurie is an accomplished global marketeer and brand strategist. With a career that spans many industries from brewing to healthcare to food across FMCG to charity. By her own admission she is naturally nosy which fuels her continued inquisitiveness into people’s behaviours and the relationship between brands and consumers.

Thain Coventry, Head of Strategic Buying: Milk & More

Thain Coventry has been Head Of Buying at Milk & More for nine years and has over 20 years senior management experience within the retail industry.

A retailer with a high level of experience in Buying across all sectors including Online, Multiple and Symbol stores, as well as Wholesale, Thain has had significant achievements in each of these areas.
At Milk & More, he leads the team responsible for searching across the country for the very best artisan and fresh products from smaller British suppliers that are packaged with minimal plastic.

Thain is passionate about encouraging people to eat well, live sustainably and reduce plastic waste. He is looking to work with companies that share Milk & More’s values at their core, to deliver a positive impact on local communities and the environment.

Catriona Mantle, Senior Category & Brand Manager – Organic, Arla Foods

Catriona Mantle is a positive enthusiastic and highly motivated marketing professional.  Catriona has spent her last 11 years working at Arla Foods where she has a track record of delivering business growth through strategic development and tailored activity for Arla. Catriona has most recently spent her time ambitiously leading the marketing team responsible for driving the organic agenda.

Host: Rebecca Smithers

Rebecca Smithers is a freelance consumer journalist. She was previously consumer affairs correspondent for The Guardian for 16 years, when she wrote news and features on a wide range of topics including food, drink, transport, sustainability and farming. As a freelance writer she contributes to publications including Good Housekeeping. 

Watch the event on demand

Missed the live broadcast? We have you covered! You can watch it on-demand at your leisure on our website.