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Soil Association launches online Christmas marketplace for organic businesses

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Organic growers and farmers are being given the chance to connect with new customers thanks to an online Christmas hub that has been set up by the Soil Association.

Named the Organic Collective Christmas marketplace, www.soilassociation.org/christmas, the sparkling new site is providing organic producers with a dedicated showcase for their products or farm shops whilst also helping shoppers to easily find, try and buy everything they need for an organic Christmas.

Its launch follows the success of the Soil Association’s Organic September campaign, which saw the organic market grow by 7.1% in the 30 days of September (2017) – up from an average of 4.2% to date in 2017 [Nielsen Scantrack]. Moreover, fresh produce sales grew by 7.6% during this time.

Liz Bowles, head of farming at the Soil Association, said: “As shoppers continue to prioritise their nutrition and food traceability, and with the organic market forecast to exceed £2.2 billion in sales by the year end, there’s no better time to celebrate organic than Christmas.”

She added: “We now know that organic fruit, vegetables, meat and milk are nutritionally different from their non-organic counterparts, with organic fruit and vegetables containing up to 60% higher levels of key antioxidants [Newcastle University, British Journal of Nutrition, 2014]. Research for the European Parliament has also found that organic food can reduce the risk of developing allergies and adult obesity [European Parliamentary Research Service, 2016]. All of this is good news, both for customers and for producers.”

An online advertising campaign for the new Organic Collective marketplace will be running alongside the Organic Trade Board’s Feed Your Happy campaign (which focuses on the ‘feel-good factor’ of eating organic foods) to help lead shoppers to the site.

For more information about the Organic Collective Christmas marketplace, including how to get your products listed online, please contact Niamh Noone NNoone@soilassociation.org.

The Soil Association is currently working with AHDB Horticulture and other organisations in the farming and horticulture sector on the ongoing GREAT (Growing Resilient Efficient and Thriving) Soils project, which is helping growers to find new ways of enriching, caring for, and analysing their farms’ soils.

Written by Rachel Anderson. Photo credit – Soil Association. Organic vegetables at pillars of Hercules Farm Shop, Fife.

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