Soil Association Certification to promote organic fresh produce this New Year

After a tough year of extreme weather conditions, Soil Association Certification is giving organic fresh produce growers and box schemes a helping hand this New Year with a focus on fresh fruit, vegetables and salads for the second year of its Fresh Produce campaign.

For 2019, the organic certification body has produced a new set of marketing materials for both digital and print that are available free to all organic producers and is encouraging produce growers and businesses to sign up to its improved online veg box finder. The online tool is designed to help shoppers easily find organic, Soil Association-certified veg box schemes local to them.

The campaign aims to highlight the benefits of organic fresh produce to shoppers at a time when many are turning to fruit and vegetables after the excesses of the festive period. With 1 in 3 purchases now being made for health reasons, it’s an ideal opportunity to put organic in front of them. Last years’ campaign increased media and social interest in organic, with visits to Soil Association’s ‘find your local box scheme’ web pages up 50% on the same period in 2017.

Veg box schemes are an increasingly popular way for time-poor shoppers to enjoy the freshest seasonal fruit, veg and salad. Soil Association Certification’s annual Organic Market Report showed home delivery sales, including box schemes, increasing 9.5% in 2017.

Fresh produce is consistently a major growth category for organic. Figures released by Soil Association Certification in its annual Organic Market Report show that the fresh produce category grew 6.5%% year-on-year in 2017, well ahead of the non-organic market. Carrots are one of the most popular organic products - 15.3% of all carrots sold in the UK are organic.

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director for Soil Association Certification, said, “We’re calling on organic producers to get involved in the Fresh Produce promotion this year to help celebrate the brilliant seasonal fresh produce available at this time of year. Throughout January and February, we will be spreading the message that veg schemes are an easy, affordable way to get organic produce into your diet, so producers should register online and make the most of this opportunity.

“We hope that by promoting the benefits of veg box schemes and making them easy to find at a time when shoppers are coming out of the Christmas excess, we can help support the farmers and growers who are working so hard to produce food as it should be.”

To help promote organic produce during the Fresh Produce campaign, Soil Association Certification are working in partnership with green energy company Ecotricity, who will also be providing a free sustainability guide for any business looking to build further on their sustainability credentials.