The Organic Trade Board: Making organic an everyday choice

17 December 2020


Image source: Organic Arable

Some NFU organic members will know the Organic Trade Board (OTB), and others may not be aware of the organisation and its role in the organic sector.

Established in 2009 with a clear vision to make organic an everyday choice, the independent, member-funded organisation has one purpose: to bring the efforts of the UK organic industry together, from its roots to the market, to raise awareness and grow sales of organic.

The OTB board of directors includes William Burgess, a fourth-generation farmer and CEO of Burgess Farms, supplier to multiple retailers. William said:

“When I was appointed membership director of the OTB, one of the first things I wanted to do was to make the organisation representative of all parts of the organic supply chain. I know from experience that organic farmers, like my business, are passionate about the food they produce and the way it is grown organically. I see the OTB as the perfect conduit to bring those stories to the consumer and also to enable farmers to engage, network and share knowledge with other players in the supply chain.”

Driving growth through marketing

The OTB works to increase sales through consumer marketing campaigns on behalf of the whole industry. Over 10 years it has delivered multiple successful campaigns and until 2019 these campaigns were part funded by the EU. Coming to the end of the 2019 campaign members took the decision to deliver campaigns that are 100% industry funded. This gave the OTB freedom to mention members, talk about brands and also to include non-food sectors such as textiles, and health and beauty in the campaign. The 2020 marketing campaign, despite the challenging year, proved to be the most successful, especially in terms of members engagement and satisfaction.

Campaign activation

With an audience of over 120k on social media and consumer marketing website, Go Organic UK, OTB uses its platforms to promote the benefits of organic, organic farming and organic members brands.

OTB’s works with retailers on campaign activation instore and retailers have reported increased sales during promotions:

  • In June 2018 Ocado reported that 70% of consumers tried a new organic product during instore promotions.
  • In Sainsbury’s during Organic September, the retailer reported 94% of online customers tried a new organic product.

OTB welcomes new farmer members

The OTB wants to bring consumers closer to those passionate farmers who measure their success in terms of bees, trees, healthy soil, and pride in growing great food. Now is the time to share more stories about what it means to grow organic and why farmers are doing it; for themselves and for all of us, for nature and for our planet.

For these reasons, and following William’s guidance, a new farmers and growers membership rate* has been introduced to welcome more farmers and bring them closer to consumers.

To find out more about the OTB membership benefits, click here.

OTB will also be attending ORFC in January (7-13 January) where it will have a virtual exhibition stand. Cristina Dimetto and Annie Seeley from OTB will be available every day between 9-11am. If you would like to find out more about membership, the booking system will be live from 4 January here.

Not attending ORFC? Just drop YW5uaWVAb3JnYW5pY3RyYWRlYm9hcmQuY28udWs= a line to find out more.

*for farmers and growers who are not packaging/processing

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