Soil Association expands digital presence to support organic businesses
Over the coming weeks, Soil Association Certification will be sharing learnings from organic businesses, webinars, panel discussions, articles and organic learning sessions, as it looks to provide further support for organic businesses throughout the pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Soil Association Certification has announced that it is expanding its digital presence to support its licensees with a range of online resources, webinars and remote inspections, as they continue working round the clock to meet demand for organic products.
With the organic market set to surpass the £2.5 billion sales mark by the end of 2020, Soil Association Certification aims to ensure the organic sector is supported as the world moves to a new normal. In addition to launching the COVID-19 Support Hub, Soil Association Certification has launched a new home delivery hub to support businesses that are moving from their usual distribution channels to sell direct to citizens.
As well as the new online resources, which will cover everything from managing social media to building a brand in a crisis, the Certification body has also been offering remote inspections to ensure business runs smoothly for existing licensees and that they can continue to offer organic food with integrity to citizens at this time.
The 2020 Organic Market Report revealed organic was already over performing in online shopping, with sales up 11.2 percent and overtrading at 13 percent of the channel; and the report predicted home delivery would account for 20 percent of the organic market by 2023 – but current trends mean this might accelerate even more rapidly.
Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification, said: “Soil Association Certification is expanding its range of digital resources to ensure licensees are not only prepared to weather this crisis – but that they can continue to thrive in an increasingly digitalised world. We see digitalisation as core to our service – we’ve implemented technology led remote inspections to ensure our existing clients can be inspected, maintaining integrity and their certification, and are supporting with new online routes to market and sharing best practice. We expect shoppers will continue buying organic from home delivery post COVID-19 as they continue to look for many of the benefits which organic products deliver on – natural, healthy and tasty food and drink that’s been sourced and farmed with care.
“Organic businesses have proven just how resourceful and innovative they can be in challenging times, working round the clock to feed the nation and create a positive impact – whether feeding key workers on their night shifts or producing and donating hand sanitiser to communities in need. We hope that these new online resources will allow organic businesses to network and share their invaluable knowledge more widely, as well as enabling the sector to optimise the online channel to continue reaching an engaged and loyal customer base.”