The sustainable bank, Triodos, has supported the Organic Trade Board (OTB) with £1.7m of funding for its future campaign activity.
Triodos Bank announced the new lending to the OTB to help grow organic sales in the UK. The €1.95m (£1.73m) underwriting facility will allow OTB to access EU funding confirmed in 2017 to deliver its three-year marketing campaign. This has already supported the launch of the #FeedYourHappy initiative and other marketing activity that has delivered growth to the organic sector.
Adrian Blackshaw, Chairman at the OTB, explained: “I can confidently say that without Triodos Bank, we would not have been able to move forward with this campaign. The flexibility and innovation that they brought to the table was critical to helping us meet the EU requirements for funding. Banking can be difficult for organisations seeking to raise finance like this, but Triodos understand the sector and bring a financial insight that is second to none. We are delighted that Triodos, an OTB member, is assisting us in delivering this important three year marketing campaign.”
Simon Crichton, Food Farming and Trade Team Manager at Triodos Bank, added: “We aim to provide finance that stimulates the organic market in the UK and the Organic Trade Board and their campaigning work is doing just that. They bring the industry together and provide a strong vision for organic being an essential part of everyone’s world.
“With the development of an environmentally-focused Government agricultural policy, now is the time to support an expansion of organic farming in the UK to meet the challenges now being recognised by Government.”
The work of Organic Trade Board is helping to stimulate demand in the organic market, increase employment in the sector, and raise awareness of the benefits of organic. The #FeedYourHappy campaign aims to boost the UK organic market by five per cent each year until it ends in 2020.
And the market is looking healthy; organic sales soared in September, with month on month sales of organic food jumping by 7.1 per cent, and organic meat, fish and poultry sales climbing by 13.8 per cent. Fruit was up 11.7 per cent and butter 41 per cent.
The sector has also benefited from joined up campaigns between the Soil Association’s Organic September and the OTB’s Feed Your Happy. A three per cent increase in positive perception of organic food and drink was tracked in 2017, increasing to six per cent for 30-44 year olds.