On 12th March our industry came together to hear the organic industry plans to develop the organic market in a post-Brexit world and to capitalise on the positive impact of working together to draw new customers into the market. It has been a rewarding journey for us all, thanks to the input of so many key players within the industry.
We have since entered unfamiliar terrain with the growing impact and spread of COVID-19 and upheaval in society, business and government.
Consequences of the pandemic have yet to be fully realised and all current attention and effort within the sector must be focussed in dealing with the immediate needs and problems that the virus presents.
The situation brings serious challenges to the organic industry, but not all our members are affected in the same way.
Nevertheless, business, government and society will emerge from this situation facing a radically changed landscape and will need to work cohesively to address new challenges.
The factors that brought us together and the need for co-ordinated effort are more apparent now than ever. So in the face of the pandemic, we aim to consolidate our strengths as a sector and realise the benefit of co-operative effort to achieve that.
To do this, the directors of the OTB have been looking forward and made a number of decisions to ensure we all emerge with a plan to building the sector.
The decisions relate to two areas.
A. Immediate actions to acknowledge the impact of the current pandemic
B. Future planning and remedial actions for the sector.
OTB Marketing Plans: “Back to Nature” – The main activity planned for September 2020 and engagement activities and meetings planned in April, May, June and July will now shift to 2021 as suppliers and retailers focus on immediate efforts to maintain supplies to customers.
The OTB will not raise invoices to members for pledges that were made for the campaign in 2020.
The OTB will maintain social media channels for the campaign and some limited PR activity that is relevant to consumers during the pandemic and to instil a sense of community and a positive outlook (this will end!)
This activity will be funded through the OTB’s reserves and annual membership fees.
Future planning and remedial actions for the sector.
The OTB will continue to engage with members and the sector to inform and assess support for co-ordinated activity for recovery in 2021.
The OTB will monitor developments within the sector, with a view to bringing the sector together again in September 2020 (via weblink or appropriate channels) to outline recovery plans for 2021.
If you have any questions please contact Adrian Carne, Chairman OTB or Paul Moore, Director OTB and if you have any general questions please email Annie.