Mar
10

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Viridian on the news as part of Brexit debate

Viridian Nutrition has appeared on Channel 4 News as part of a report on the British economy.

Cheryl Thallon, founder and MD, was asked to give her views on the impact of the exchange rates and Brexit on the firm. The news report centred on the release of an independently conducted Quarterly Economic Survey published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which focused on the health of the British economy.

The TV crew spent several hours at the Viridian Nutrition headquarters filming the interview in the warehouse and a range of nutritional supplements. It was aired later that evening on the network’s 7pm programme.

Cheryl will also be one of the speakers at the BCC’s Annual Conference in London, which will see political figureheads and business leaders such as George Osbourne MP take centre stage.

Cheryl said: “It’s an honour to be invited and I will be doing all I can to promote the high regard and long-term security of the specialist health sector at this prestigious and influential event.”

Mar
10

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Sad death of respected industry figure announced

Tributes have been paid following the sad news that Bernd Linke has passed away.

Bernd started his career with Bayer Chemical in Germany in the 1970s and then was seconded to the UK division, after which he joined Booker Health Foods (part of the Booker Group). He was approached by Healtheries of New Zealand to open and manage its European office, following which he was asked to join McFarlane Laboratories as Marketing Director for Europe, to launch Seatone Green Lipped Mussel Extract.

Subsequently, he formed Dietary Specialities Ltd (DSL) with two colleagues, which they later sold to Guinness.

Bernd was asked by Guinness to continue running the business, during which time he launched the Hanssen Diet (in conjunction with former HFMA Chairman, Maurice Hanssen). Bernd’s entrepreneurial ambitions resulted in him leaving DSL, when he formed Reevecrest Health. Whilst running Reevecrest, Bernd also worked closely with Dame Barbara Cartland and her son, Ian McCorquodale, and was responsible for their Health & Happiness Club.

In recent years, Bernd and his wife Caroline have been running Health-Buzz, a successful direct marketing business specialising in selling natural balms, creams and essential oil-based products.

Paying tribute to Bernd, his friend, Roger Dyer, said: “Bernd was a larger than life character, who liked to live life to the full. Bernd possessed a beautiful mix of naughtiness mixed together with a great sense of humour and the most infectious laugh. I first met Bernd in the early ‘80s, when he was a client of mine at Reevecrest. I then joined him to work for the Guinness owned, DSL and we remained friends ever since. Bernd was extremely influential and supportive in both my personal and business life. His passing will leave a big gap in my life.”

Les Illingworth added: “I first met Bernd when he helped Healtheries from New Zealand launch the Meadowcroft range of vitamins. He was big, infectious and a pleasure to do business with. Our friendship blossomed over time, particularly when he worked with John Ryan at DSL developing the Seatone range. The nights we had out together were memorable, I will never forget the night he introduced me to pudding wine… the hangover is still with me. God bless you Bernd, a man among men.”

Bill Archer continued: “My closest friend for over 30 years, we enjoyed the most amazing times together, creating new natural health direct marketing product concepts and products, many of which are still being successfully marketed to this day. Bernd was an inspiration to me during many challenging times and his love of life earned me many lectures from both our wives, as he always managed to look more innocent than me. But my overriding memory will be of him being a strategic guru, perfect gentleman and a gentle giant.”

Chris Bearman commented: “I look back at meeting Bernd 37 years ago when he persuaded Gordon Hayes and myself to leave New Era Labs and join him at the newly formed DSL. Bernd was so infectious, both in his enthusiasm for business and for enjoying ourselves while doing it. My fondest memory was when Bernd joined me on one of my regular trips to Jersey, where we did the business and laughed for two days! Just one of my many happy memories of Bernd, such a lovely bloke to spend time with and he will be greatly missed.”

Gordon Hayes finished: “When I first met Bernd, I was fascinated by his infectious enthusiasm, wit and his market trader perception of what the public needed. I was hooked, and decided I wanted to be a part of it. What followed was an unforgettable 30-year rollercoaster ride, with exhilarating highs and the occasional low, all accompanied by laughter, fun, adventure, fine dining and the odd bottle (or two!) of wine. He loved life and lived it to the full, taking along all the people around him.”

Mar
10

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Organic market surpasses £2bn with 7.1 per cent growth recorded – and independents are leading the way

The organic market has broken through the £2bn mark after recording 7.1 per cent growth last year, with independents beating supermarkets in terms of growth.

Those are the headline figures from the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2017, which looks at the market from 2016, and found that while organic recorded the 7.1 per cent rise – up from 4.9 per cent the year before – the non-organic market fell by 0.6 per cent.

The market is now worth some £2.09bn, with around 1.5 per cent of the total UK food and drink market now organic.

The data also revealed huge positives for the independent sector; sales in this sector grew by 6.3 per cent, compared to 6.1 per cent growth in supermarkets. Furthermore, almost 70 per cent of Soil Association Certification independent retailers surveyed had increased sales of organic this year, with just under a quarter staying the same.

Other headline figures include:
• More than 8,000 stores stock organic products, with 6,000 farmers and processors producing and selling into the sector.
• Sales of beauty and wellbeing grew by an impressive 13 per cent, while organic food service was also buoyant, with 19.1 per cent growth, and a 30 per cent rise in organic textiles.
• Sales in the UK are catching up with other markets around the world, now representing around four per cent of worldwide sales.
• Dairy remains the biggest sector, at 29 per cent, and was up 2.2 per cent. Fresh produce takes up 23.5 per cent of the sector and increased by 10.3 per cent.
• Areas that didn’t fare so well included meat, fish and poultry, which fell by one per cent, and bakery and cakes, which was down 5.2 per cent.
• Baby food continues to show solid growth, rising by 5.3 per cent and making up 10.3 per cent of the organic market.

Speaking at the official launch of the report, attended by Health Food Business, Soil Association Chief Executive, Helen Browning, said: “Who would have thought a year ago that we would be coming out of Europe and Donald Trump would be in the White House! In this period of uncertainty, the organic market is still growing and that growth has accelerated over the last 12 months.

“I would like to point out that this growth we are seeing is at a time when we are operating in a difficult political environment. This doesn’t just happen automatically; it happens because we have some phenomenal brands in the UK, who are really entrepreneurial, getting products out in front of consumers and winning new shelf space with retailers who are finally giving more shelf space. Organic is more accessible to people and that’s a big part of the story.”

Drilling down to the detail, Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at the Soil Association, commented: “The 7.1 per cent growth is exceptional. This makes the organic market worth over £2bn and this is where we thought we would get to. The growth has come from all channels and this is a positive picture overall. The consumer is looking for attributes that organic can bring and is increasingly being seen as central to health.”

Looking specifically at the independent growth, McDermott added: “Independents are continuing to grow as they are meeting consumers need for advice, especially through new products and speciality ingredients. Ranges are increasing and wholesalers have seen increased demand by five per cent of organic. Consumers are looking to independents to help with their choices – and they can provide a different and wider range of product options.”

The issue over supply chain, and the fall in organic land, was discussed as one of the main issues to be addressed; the data showed that although applications from organic producers to Soil Association Certification increased in 2016 by 13.5 per cent, the amount of land farmed organically in the UK continues to decline by five per cent. However, land currently being converted to organic has increased by 4.9 per cent.

Looking ahead, the forecast is that 2017 will see further growth of at least five per cent to be worth £2.2bn, and, if growth continues at this pace, will be worth £2.5bn by 2020.

Look out for the April issue of Health Food Business, where the report will be examined in further detail.

Feb
2

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Register free for Vitafoods Europe

Vitafoods Europe, the annual event where the entire nutraceutical supply chain does business, attracts 18,500+ of the most senior decision-makers across the globe within the four key industry areas; Ingredients & Raw Materials, Contract Manufacturing & Private Label, Services & Equipment and Branded Finished Products.

With 1,000+ global suppliers providing 1,000’s of innovative products, Vitafoods Europe provides visitors the opportunity to source ingredients, raw materials, dietary supplements, functional food & beverages and high quality services & equipment to help grow their business. Plus, crucial advice and expertise to help make better strategic business decisions. Register for free entry at www.vitafoods.eu.com