The Soil Association Certification organic trade conference went virtual this year for the first time, to offer the organic community a connected series of free online insight sessions. We welcomed over 400 delegates to the event across three mornings in October to hear from experts and brands in the organic community, economists, academics, and the leaders and changemakers driving the purposeful business movement forward.
The global shocks of 2020 and the growing wave of public planet-centric opinion mean that the time for organic really is now. The Organic 2020: The Time is Now insight sessions were designed to inspire, inform, and shine a light on innovation. The event explored how, as an industry, we can seize the opportunity of the moment to make organic more relevant and successful than ever.
We explored why business with purpose is the future. From her farm, Soil Association CEO Helen Browning shared how organic is the answer to nature, climate and health issues. She was joined by Dr Victoria Hurth, who presented on purposeful business, before they were joined by Ben Reardon, COO at Abel&Cole for a panel discussion chaired by sustainability consultant, Thomas Bourne, to consider how organic businesses can be a ‘force for good’.
Our panel of industry experts: Simon Wainwright of IGD, Amarjit Sahota, Founder of Ecovia Intelligence and Finn Cottle, Trade Consultant, reviewed the UK and global organic markets and the evolving trends during 2020. Sustainability expert, Simon Wright, chaired the closing panel discussion, which included Soil Association Certification's Clare McDermott which delved into the future growth expectations and potential for the organic grocery market.
We discussed the major trends and innovations shaping the UK food & drink market and what the opportunities are for organic. Heather Granato, from Informa, prompted us to think more broadly about changing consumer needs before Soil Association Certification’s CEO Martin Sawyer sat down with Senior Business & Trade Development Manager, Lee Holdstock to discuss the organisation's hopes and plans. The final panel discussion considered the bigger picture and how organic can keep ahead of the curve.