Around 40 representatives from the UK organic sector met in London recently to explore interest in forming a specialist organic group inside leading food industry trade association the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
A number of specialist FDF Sector Groups already exist. Typically these have between 12-20 member companies. Members of sector groups must also be full members of the FDF, to benefit from access to all FDF services and benefits.
A more informal FDF organic group already exists. With the UK organic industry poised at a crucial stage in its growth and development, the FDF is keen to see if there is interest in strengthening the organic group and expanding its activities and reach – including areas such as exports, technical aspects and lobbying government. It’s proposed that Alara Wholefoods MD, Alex Smith, would take on the role of Chair of a new group, and OF+ Consulting’s Simon Wright would act as Secretary.
Speaking after the meeting, Alex Smith told NPG: “It is very encouraging that Ian Wright, CEO of FDF, is involved in the group and gave a presentation about the serious effects of a hard Brexit on organic food exports and the key links FDF has into Government.”
The well attended meeting generated a good level of support for a specialist organic group, which, it was stressed, would be complementary, rather than competitive, to the role of the Organic Trade Board. The group’s proposers are currently considering feedback from attendees and deciding next steps.