Waitrose is launching an organic marketing initiative to support the Soil Association’s Organic Month this September.
Twice voted ‘Organic Supermarket of the Year’ by the Soil Association, Waitrose is bringing the stories behind its organic producers to life though its ‘Organic Kitchen’ initiative.
Fronted by celebrity gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh and TV presenter Ellie Harrison, who co-presents BBC1’s ‘Countryfile’, it will include content from the pair to help customers understand the origins of their organic products.
Alan will feature in a film for the grocery multiple’s online TV Channel Waitrose TV, which will air later this month. It includes interviews with grower Joe Rolfe, who manages the 500-acre organic farm, Taylorgrown, in Kings Lynn in Norfolk, and supplies organic broccoli, cauliflower and carrots to Waitrose. There will also be a profile of organic apple and pear grower Nick Moor, who owns the 165-acre Nichol Farm in Teynham in Kent. Both will give an insight into the day-to-day practicalities of organic farming.
Ellie will write a weekly column over four weeks in ‘Waitrose Weekend’, the supermarket’s free customer newspaper. Starting in the September 8 issue, her columns will focus on the work of organic farms and their produce as well as advice on cooking with organic ingredients. She will also introduce features about four Waitrose Duchy Organic producers who provide products as diverse as tea, lemon curd, eggs and quinoa.
Alan said: “There’s an immense amount of skill and passion involved in growing organic produce and I’m so pleased to play a part in helping people understand not only where our food comes from but also how it’s grown.”
Ellie added: “The daily ritual of cooking for family and friends is something I find incredibly gratifying. Where that food is from matters. So transforming the fantastic ingredients from these dedicated producers into dishes to share is something I’ve relished being a part of.”
Waitrose Editor-in-Chief Ollie Rice commented: “We’re delighted to have such respected experts involved in our campaign.
“We’re looking forward to sharing the stories behind the growers who work with organic produce every day and are incredibly passionate about what they do.
“As the Soil Association’s Organic Supermarket of the Year, organic food and drink is a hugely important part of the range we offer our customers and September will be an exciting month, packed full of inspirational activities.”
Waitrose offers one of the largest organic ranges in the UK: Waitrose Duchy Organic. Sales of all organic products at the retailer are up 4.6% so far this year.
Organic fruit, vegetables and salads remain Waitrose customers’ favourite organic buys. In particular, organic blueberries are proving popular with sales up 39% this year.
Carrots are the grocer’s top-selling organic vegetable but shoppers are increasingly going green with broccoli and spinach becoming the pick of the organic crop, with sales of the latter up by 16% on last year.
Sales of the supermarket’s award-winning range of organic cheeses have jumped by 11% this year, with its bestselling line Waitrose Duchy Organic Mature Cheddar (winner of the Soil Association’s Best Organic Cheese award) increasing sales by 38%.
Waitrose has also sold enough organic eggs this year so far to stretch from London to Birmingham if they were all lined up.
Ellie Harrison: the ‘Countryfile’ co-presenter is now a columnist for ‘Waitrose Weekend’