Opinion

Here we bring you the thoughts of the natural and organic products industry’s leading commentators and opinion formers.

John

Give your customers some action!

With a treasure trove of exciting, tasty, differentiated products to try, love and buy, I believe everybody is a potential customer. True? Then why do over 85% of people walk right past our doors? Of course, we must aim to be ‘trusted advisors’, educating customers about health, wellbeing and ethical issues, but before we can […]

January 7, 2014 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

Small is still beautiful

Who needs big organisations that are inherently inefficient in this age of smartphones and smart farmers? The future is small, the future is beautiful … and resilient The Royal Scottish Geographical Society, in their wisdom, decided to bestow their Shackleton Medal (for Leadership and Citizenship) on me, and my wife Jo Fairley. The event was […]

December 11, 2013 Continue Reading
Simon

Roll up, get your black candyfloss here

Over the weekend of September 6-8 the Food Organisation of Denmark delivered a first rate consumer show which inspired and delighted visitors to Aarhus  (foodfestival.dk/en/om-food-festival). Last year the show attracted 30,000 visitors and with sunny weather this year it is likely that this figure was exceeded. The setting was idyllic. Next time you are incarcerated […]

October 2, 2013 Continue Reading
Jim Manson

Let’s get down to details

When the big four supermarkets pulled swathes of organic lines from their shelves in the early stages of the 2008 recession they set in train a self-fulfilling prophesy. As organic food sales duly fell away the retail giants could claim that their prediction that shoppers would abandon premium-priced ‘discretionary’ items like organic had been right. […]

September 25, 2013 Continue Reading
Jim Manson

The future of retailing … or ungroovy uncle of an idea?

“A compelling combination of retail, food service and community” “The retail equivalent of your uncle trying to be groovy at a wedding and failing” Two rather different interpretations of Tesco’s widely publicised plans to breathe some life into its underperforming superstores – the first from Kantar Retail, the second from the New Economics Foundation’s Andrew […]

September 23, 2013 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

Three cheers for ethical mob rule

We used to fear mob rule. But if the ‘mob’ is all nice people who you’d be happy to introduce to your mother, well, what’s wrong with that? Welcome to the Collaborative Economy. I farm 20 acres, mostly woodland and orchard, with 2 acres of organic vegetable production.  I farm people – and they farm […]

August 6, 2013 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

Little supermarkets, big threat?

Having left local high streets for dead the big supermarkets are re-colonising them at a rate of knots with new small-format stores. Big threat to independents, right? Not necessarily, says Craig Sams After decades of disembowelling the nation’s high streets, the supermarkets are rushing back in with a variety of ‘Local’ or ‘Express’ or other […]

July 4, 2013 Continue Reading
Christopher-Whitehouse

Stopping the Government from Backtracking on their Herbal Practitioners Promise

You don’t have to work in politics to realise that the Government sometimes promises something with the maximum of fanfare and then, after a suitable period of time has elapsed, quietly shelves whatever it had been planning to do. Often this is because there is much more opposition out there than the Minister supposed, opposition […]

June 28, 2013 Continue Reading
Marcus-Webb

Drugs, bugs and environment…

It’s always fascinating to see how trends come and go especially in the world of health and medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I love science but it can get a bit reductionist sometimes and miss the wood for the trees. We have all seen and heard this in regards to the development of drug therapies […]

June 28, 2013 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

Food for (psychiatrists’) thought

In-fighting among psychiatrists over what constitutes mental illness has hit new levels. Craig Sams offers to diagnose their dysfunctional behaviour. Stop the press! The American Psychiatric Association is publishing the latest edition of the ‘DSM’ (that’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to you and me). People are mentally ill in pretty much […]

June 17, 2013 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

Sugar – are you a user or an abuser?

As experts flail around not solving the global obesity crisis Craig Sams ponders the merits of establishing a new category of crime – Food Abuse Fat Chance, a recent book by Prof. Robert Lustig, puts forth the hypothesis that it is sugar, not fat, that is making us fat, diabetic and lazy. It rang a […]

May 13, 2013 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

Only organic can rescue our dried out planet

Water trumps everything. Water is food. But the worldwide well is running dry. Only organic can rescue our desiccated planet, says Craig Sams In March I attended the City Food Lecture at Guildhall. This is a glitzy event where the City livery companies (Fruiterers, Grocers, Poulterers, Butchers, Fishmongers) lay on a lecture and discussion and […]

March 22, 2013 Continue Reading
editorsblogs

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

Tesco’s horsemeat media confessional continues. First there was the visually stark yet otherwise strangely chatty We Apolgise advertisement. “You’ve probably heard or read that we had a serious problem with three of our frozen beef burgers …” it began, with no small measure of understatement. Next up was the What Burgers Have Taught Us double […]

March 13, 2013 Continue Reading
Julia-Wright

Serious about sustainability, having fun along the way

Dr Julia Wright reports from the recent Biofach event on why organic organisations make good partners for those serious about sustainability. As mainstream agriculture in Europe stumbles along from one obstacle and challenge to another – currently scratching its head over flooding, horsemeat, and the relentless but unconsummated drive to increase profit, the organic movement […]

March 10, 2013 Continue Reading
Craig Sams

No place to hide

The internet is the most powerful tool for transparency ever invented. There literally is no place to hide for the perpetrators of food scandals, writes Craig Sams. Oh, dear, another scandal from the meat industry. We’ve barely put away the sickbags from the ‘pink slime’ revelations before we get another nauseating example of how little […]

March 2, 2013 Continue Reading
editorsblogs

Owen Paterson doesn’t get it

“Some companies seem to think consumers will keep taking it on the chin because we accepted being spoon fed this stuff for so long and have seen our high streets die in front of our eyes and replaced by faceless, unaccountable conglomerates – without conversation, without relationships, and they think we’ll accept anything, that we’ll […]

February 12, 2013 Continue Reading
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