But before any of this, we need to work on some techni-
cal fixes. There is a federal law that says that no one can
pay in to more than one research and promotion pro-
gram. Many organic companies are already required to
pay into one of the programs mentioned above—from
beef to milk to mushrooms, however, they don’t really get
anything from these programs. We are working on some
technical fixes to allow them to be exempt from those pro-
grams so that they can put their money toward the organic
OP: What kinds of insights has your market research provided?
Bowles: In the U.K., we have found that the number one
reason not to buy organic is around price, which I am sure
is a major factor in the U.S. as well. So we’re going to be trying to tackle that more head-on this year by ensuring that
organic is compared not with basic or value ranges but
branded and other premium lines. We are also going to
build on a lot of people who are motivated to buy foods for
animal welfare reasons but not being aware of organic’s ex-
OP: Has the program been critical to the industry?
Bowles: Yes, as we’ve gone through these challenging
times, it’s helped everyone come together. The power of
working together on this campaign and individuals coordinating their own activities, and being motivated to do
more as a result of the campaign, has magnified our voice.
We have also been able to highlight the many bright spots
in organic sales from different sectors or companies that
have managed to continue to grow despite the reduction
in overall sales. We really feel that we’re turning a corner,
and despite the ongoing difficult trading conditions, there
is a real buzz about the year-two campaign and everyone is
hoping that the market as a whole can grow in 2012.