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Press Release

Developing the image of the organic sector in Wales

Organic Centre Wales is inviting communications companies to bid for work on developing the image of Welsh organic products. The contract will help promote Welsh organic products in their home and UK markets and is for two years.

The Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) project is tasked with growing the market for Welsh organic products. The successful bidder will identify the target audiences and develop key messages that communicate the benefits of organic products. The contract includes advising the BOBL project team on the development of generic marketing material and communicating with producers and other stakeholders. This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Dafydd Owen, BOBL Project Manager said: “This is an exciting opportunity to develop the image of the organic sector in Wales for the next two years and beyond. The benefits of organic production systems are many and complex, and do not fit easily with today's sound-bite culture. We need to communicate with consumers and stakeholders so they understand why supporting the organic sector is important, and this contract will help us to achieve this.”

He added: “The organic sector has the potential to reinforce Wales' image as a green and environmentally friendly country and help develop a sustainable economy and food production system. As a result of committed organic producers and investment by the Welsh Assembly Government under the agri-environment schemes, eight % of the farmland in Wales is already managed organically. We need to help existing producers receive a premium for their product which reflects their investment in organic production. The organic farmland in Wales has the potential to act as a springboard to develop the market for the whole range of food that we can produce.”

Sue Fowler, Director of Organic Centre Wales said: “We are already conducting a survey of consumers in Wales and the rest of Britain to assess their attitutudes to organic products from Wales. The survey will identify the benefits consumers associate with organic produce and the issues we need to communicate more or better. This contract will build on the results of the survey and help direct our work to grow the supply and demand for organic products from Wales.”

The notice has been published to the Sell2Wales website and can be viewed on: http://tinyurl.com/BOBLPR.

Ends

[bold:Further information:

Sue Fowler, Organic Centre Wales, 01970 622248, smf@aber.ac.uk

Dafydd Owen, Better Organic Business Links 01970 6222953, odo@aber.ac.uk

Jane Powell, Organic Centre Wales: 01970 622248, jnp@aber.ac.uk.

Notes for editors

1. Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) is a three-year project to build organic supply chains. This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
2. Organic Centre Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on organic food and farming to producers, food businesses, consumers and others. It is based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.
3. The Organic Conversion Information Service (01970 622100) is funded by WAG to provide information to producers considering conversion – an information pack and up to two free on-farm visits are available.
4. Following the Minister's statement in October 2008, it is likely a window for further applications to the Organic Farming Conversion Scheme will open later in 2010. Contact OCW for more information.
5. Farming Connect, working closely with its partner organisations, provides one to one support, knowledge, expertise, training and advisory services tailored to the needs of farmers in Wales. Many of these services are fully funded or subsidised and the service is both flexible and accessible. You can register with the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813 or contact Farming Connect directly at your nearest WAG Divisional Office. OCW is funded by Farming Connect to deliver the Organic Development Programme.

In partnership with
ADAS logo Aberystwyth University logo Organic Research Centre Elm Farm logo
Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Gogerddan Campus
Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, SY23 3EB
T:01970 622248   E: organic@aber.ac.uk
Funding bodies
logo of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural DevelopmentWelsh Assembly Government logo
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