Organic Trade Board overcomes final hurdle to bag €10m in EU funding

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Organic food, Germany

Sustainable bank Triodos has stepped in to ensure the UK’s Organic Trade Board (OTB) can unlock over €10m in EU funding to promote the British organic industry.

The €1.95m (£1.7m) loan was needed to allow OTB to access EU funding that it will used to promote the organic food and drink sector. 

OTB jointly applied for the funding - amounting to €10.4m over three years​ - in conjunction with Organic Denmark and was selected in January last year.

OTB will manage the funding on behalf of both countries.

Founded in 2009, the Organic Trade Board has the sole mission of growing the UK’s organic industry by stimulates demand for organic products, increasing employment and raising awareness of the benefits of organic.

It counts over 135 members that together represent more than 70% of the UK’s organic market including suppliers, manufacturers, co-ops and retailers.

The chair of OTB Adrian Blackshaw, said that without Triodos Bank, OTB would not have been able to move forward with its 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.”

Food farming and trade team manager at Triodos Bank Simon Crichton praised OTB for “bringing the industry together and [providing] 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.”

Currently organic makes up only 1.4% of the British food industry but Denmark’s organic sector sits at around 10%. Through marketing campaigns, OTB has set itself the target of increasing this market share by 1% every year for as long as possible.

It said that thanks to its recently launched marketing campaign, Feed Your Happy, as well as the Organic September campaign organised by certification board the Soil Association, there was a 7.1% month-on-month increase in UK sales of organic food in September 2017, rising to 11.7% for fruit and 41% for butter.

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