It's not too late to get involved in Organic September

Organic September, the month-long celebration of all things organic that helps people to find, try and buy all things organic is once more upon us. According to Soil Association Certification’s trade consultant, Finn Cottle (pictured), this annual focus on organic products is a golden opportunity for independent retailers to share in the action and make the most of the growing interest in ethical consumption.

"Organic September is a golden opportunity for independent retailers to take advantage of the growing passion for organic food and tell the stories of the products they sell. Interest in organic peaks in September each year, with many more people actively looking at ways that they can make changes to their shopping and diets to include more organic products.

While the major supermarkets will have discounts and other offers throughout the entire month, for many smaller independent retailers Organic September Saturday, this year on 15th September, is the highlight of the calendar. This is the chance for independents to showcase what they have to offer by hosting events and offers in store on the day, concentrating their focus on one great event rather than spreading themselves thinly over the entire month.

There are a number of simple things that independent retailers can do on Organic September Saturday, or throughout the whole month, to promote organic goods. These include price promotions, using point of sale materials to highlight organic and featuring certain products as ‘specials for the month’.

Last year alone, Soil Association Certification certified nearly 3,000 new organic products, including seaweed gin, kefir and even hot cross buns. Consumers are genuinely interested in trying new organic food and there are some amazing products that are coming to market that deserve to be showcased. Offering free samples is a simple and effective way to get these products into shoppers’ hands.

Soil Association will be providing free point of sale packs for all retailers, as well as creating digital assets and building an online hub that will be the central campaign point for events, offers, organic stories, recipes, blogs and competitions. Independents are encouraged to keep checking in and take what they need. We are here to help. Make sure you also get creative with the Soil Association logo by displaying it in windows and at point of sale. People know it is a symbol for organic certification and one that means they can trust the products they are buying.

One thing I would certainly say is that it is never too late to get involved in Organic September. One of our key messages to shoppers is that small changes can make a huge difference, and I would say the same thing to independent retailers. Simple changes like shop window displays of organic products or displaying the free point of sale materials from Soil Association, can make all the difference in bringing Organic September to customers’ attention.

The simplest – and quickest – action any independent retailer can take is making the most of digital. Much of the buzz around Organic September takes place online and social media is now a huge part of the campaign. Make sure that whatever you do, you make the most of this as a channel for quick and easy wins by using the hashtag #organicseptember and tagging @SoilAssociation. We’ll be looking to boost the profile of those taking part through our own online channels, but we need to know you are involved. Inviting a local blogger or influencer to give a talk or try out your products and write about or review them is another way to drive interest, as they will have large, highly engaged followings on social media."

How you can get involved


  • Order your FREE point-of-sale pack at www.soilassociation.org/indies (packs limited, order soon!)

  • Engage your staff to select their favourite organic product in-store and signpost customers to it using the Staff Pick cards

  • Use the Soil Association stencil to “organic” your window display or chalk boards to create clear, consistent messaging throughout September

  • Let Soil Association know what you’re planning, whether it’s an in-store event, sampling or demos – email organicseptember@soilassociation.org

  • For hints and tips on how to design your store effectively and boost sales of organic all year round order your free Visual Merchandising Guide – www.soilassociation.org/indies

  • Share your beautiful in-store Organic September displays on social media – use the hashtags #OrganicSeptember and #chooseorganic and Soil Association will share!

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