The Best of the Organic Market (BOOM) Awards 2021, organised by leading organic certifier Soil Association Certification and headline sponsored by Ocado, celebrated the businesses, producers and brands who are working hard to produce organic food & drink – as well as recognizing those innovating in the organic sector more broadly.
Maddocks Farm Organics’ floral salad took the Winner of Winner’s prize, affording them the possibility of a listing with Ocado, whilst Zaytoun Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil took the Nation’s Favourite award – one of only two accolades at the BOOM Awards voted for by the public. Other notable wins, outside of the food & drink produce categories, included Best Box Scheme to Coombe Farm Organic, Best Online Retailing to Abel & Cole and Best Independent Retailer to Better Food.
The triumph of these products and businesses, along with the host of other category winners (see list in editor’s notes), comes at a time when the organic market is thriving and now worth £2.79bn having grown by 12.5% in 2020, which is significantly higher than non-organic at 8.9%. Latest figures from NielsenIQ Scantrack show it has only dropped back to 9.4% as things have returned to some degree of normality. Non-organic sales have dropped back by a greater percentage (5.6% growth). This is a strong indication that shoppers are sticking to their lockdown organic choices and that the message on organic and sustainability is hitting home.
Soil Association Certification Business Development Manager Clare McDermott, says: “The return of the BOOM Awards in 2021 has landed at a time when the organic market is simply booming. It’s clear that habits made in the last year’s first lockdown – for example with demand in organic veg and fruit box schemes soaring, people increasingly chose to shop in their local independent retailers or buying direct online for choice – have stuck. The public are continuing to seek assurances around their buying decisions and we know organic provides that in the form of transparency, integrity and quality. The message that organic works with nature and not against it is also cutting through, with consumers wanting to make decisions which are good for nature and the planet.
Despite all that good news the past year has been uncertain for organic food & drink producers, given the complexities of Brexit and levels of uncertainty is has caused to some, so celebrating this year’s winners – and all the wonderful finalists – feels even more special.”
Says Jan Billington from Maddock’s Farm Organics: “We’re delighted that our floral salad has won the Winner of Winner’s award. It’s a huge achievement as the other winners from this year’s BOOM Awards include some incredible food and drink businesses and products! Growing organic edible flowers has been at the core of our business and whilst we are only a small three-acre farm, we’re excited to begin discussions with Ocado, in the hope that more people will get to enjoy our products.
Being organic as a producer is fundamental to who we are and what we do. For us being organic is about putting the planet first, and nurturing and nourishing the soil that gives us these amazing plants that we can then create joyful, wonderful products with. If we’re taking out, then it is essential that the process we use is restorative and ‘puts back’ too.”
Laura Henderson, head of buying, fresh, at Ocado Retail says: “Here at Ocado, we’re proud to have joined forced with Soil Association Certification on the BOOM Awards 2021. As the UK retailer with the widest range of organic products in the UK, supporting businesses that are working hard to protect nature is very important to us and we are delighted to offer Maddocks Farm Organics, the Winner of Winners at the BOOM Awards, an opportunity to have their floral salad listed with us.”
The celebration of the organic sector is set to continue with Organic September now only a few months away. Running throughout the month, the whole sector will come together in a joined up campaign to reinforce the benefits organic has for nature and the planet – uniting behind the message that ‘nature has the answer, and the answer is organic’. Retailers, brands, restaurants and caterers are encouraged to get involved by visiting the Soil Association website where a host of resources can be found. For retailers, striking POS materials are available and the Organic Trade Board are providing GOTs-certified organic cotton tote bags to giveaway for independent retailers on Organic September Saturday, which is landing on the first weekend of the campaign, 4th September, this year.
*Listing with Ocado is subject to food tech and mutual agreement of commercial terms