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Editor’s Comment

Jim Manson

Taking organic forward

 Last month four prominent Soil Association trustees who recently resigned from the charity accused it of disowning the ‘O’ word. They also warned that the organization had become “controversy-averse”. At the heart of their criticisms is the implementation to date of the Soil Association’s flagship strategy The Road to 2020, launched in 2011 after a long […]

December 15, 2014 Continue Reading
Jim Manson

A price to pay

Organic retail sales in the UK are on the move again and growth, though modest, are outpacing conventional sales. But organic’s share of total food and drink sales stubbornly refuses to move. At just below 2% it’s significantly lower than that of other European countries with mature organic markets – it’s 3.7% in Germany, 3.59% […]

November 12, 2014 Continue Reading
Jim Manson

The good earth

In the New Year the Soil Association is to get a rebrand. The most visible change will be the organic charity’s new logo, which got its first outing at this month’s Soil Association Annual Conference. The new logo is a striking departure from the current, serviceable but slightly buttoned up design. It’s in colour for […]

October 22, 2014 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
Jim Manson

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
Jim Manson

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
Jim Manson

Regulatory threats … and opportunities

“Next week”, announced the dulcet-toned Charlotte Green, “Radio 4 will broadcast the first in a two part-series in which Lord Gus O’Donnell makes a provocative and passionate plea in defence of bureaucracy. “In the programmes the former Cabinet Secretary will argue that an efficient bureaucracy isn’t just a symptom of a mature democracy – it’s […]

January 5, 2013 Continue Reading

Appy New Year?

Industry analyst Organic Monitor has an intriguing New Year prediction. Not only will mobile technology be used by growing numbers of people in 2012 but — in the form of smartphone apps — it could cut the maze of eco-labels that consumers have to navigate every time they go shopping. (more…)

January 9, 2012 Continue Reading
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