New lending to help underwrite activity into 2018 and beyond
Triodos Bank, Europe's leading sustainable bank, today announced new lending to the Organic Trade Board (OTB) to help grow organic sales in the UK. The €1.95m (£1.73m) underwriting facility will allow OTB to access EU funding confirmed in 2017 to deliver a 3-year marketing campaign. This has already supported the launch of the #FeedYourHappy initiative and other marketing activity that has delivered growth to the organic sector.
Adrian Blackshaw, Chairman, Organic Trade Board said:"I can confidently say that without Triodos Bank we would not have been able to move forward with this campaign. The flexibility and innovation that they brought to the table was critical to helping us meet the EU requirements for funding. Banking can be difficult for organisations seeking to raise finance like this, but Triodos understand the sector and bring a financial insight that is second to none. We are delighted that Triodos, an OTB member, is assisting us in delivering this important 3-year marketing campaign."
The work of Organic Trade Board stimulates demand in the organic market, increase employment in the sector, and raises awareness of the benefits of organic. OTB was formed in 2009 and has one aim: to grow organic sales in the UK. With over 135 members and representing over 70% of the UK's organic market from brands, processors, co-ops and retailers, they are the voice of the organic industry. The #FeedYourHappy campaign aims to boost the UK organic market by 5% each year until it ends in 2020.
Simon Crichton, food farming and trade team manager at Triodos Bank, said:"We aim to provide finance that stimulates the organic market in the UK and the Organic Trade Board and their campaigning work is doing just that. They bring the industry together and provide a strong vision for organic being an essential part of everyone's world. With the development of an environmentally-focused government agricultural policy, now is the time to support an expansion of organic farming in the UK to meet the challenges now being recognised by government."
Organic sales soared in September, with month on month sales of organic food jumping by 7.1%, and organic meat, fish and poultry sales climbing by 13.8%. Fruit was up 11.7% and butter 41%. The sector benefited from joined up campaigns between the Soil Association's Organic September and the Organic Trade Board's Feed Your Happy, which included promotions in both Sainsbury's and Tesco. A 3% increase in positive perception of organic food and drink was tracked in 2017, increasing to 6% for 30-44 year olds.
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 Nielsen Scantrack data
 Morar HPI Research, June 2017-Sept 2017, based on 2000 respondents