Every year we always call by the Natural and Organic Products Show in London to see what’s new in the industry, to catch up with our colleagues and friends and to seek new ways of supporting our customers. And with all the doom andf gloom in the news, it was going to be interesting to see! Would exhibitor numbers be decimated? Would lots of last year’s smaller companies be gone? We were eager to find out.
Held in London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre, it was reassuringly full. The Grand Hall was packed out and although the rafters weren’t opened there were great sections going on including:
- Soil Association Organic Pavillion
- International Organic and Speciality Foods
- Beauty & Cosmetics
- Wellbeing & Health Products
Once again we said hi to Robert Redfern and his wife and team from Good Health Naturally who were once again promoting their products including the ever popular Blockbuster AllClear. Understandable really. Robert seems at least 10 years younger than he is if not more.
As happy as that was, a more passioned moment came whilst talking to Lee Holdstock of The Soil Association. Lee was there to raise awareness of The Soil Association’s work with textiles and the fashion industry and that purity of farming meant safer clothing. It soon got hit a nerve. We’ve been considering taking more food supplements onboard as we know some of you would really benefit however the cost of having it certified organic was really bumping the prices up. I had to tell Lee how I felt.
“Why is it that food grow in it’s original state has to be certified pure? Why do we have to pay more to know that nobody has done anything to it? Why isn’t it the other way around? I mean, if you add salt or e-numbers to food you have to label that. Surely farmers that want to add pesticides, fungicides and the like should certify that they have done that? They should bear the cost of certification not the farmers who haven’t done anything wrong!”
Lee did a good job of listening and cluing us in to some really great speakers on the subject. Hopefully if enough of us can make ourselves heard, we can usher in a new age of sanity within agriculture and food production.
Elsewhere there were some trends that were upcoming:
- More organic overseas food such as organic fresh Thai coconuts and cooking sauces (no msg either!)
- More raw snack foods for those on the go
- A big interest in seaweeds – no surprise post Fukushima as Iodine protects against radiation
- An emphasis on great value basics rather than luxury touches within both foods and cosmetics
There was still plenty of enthusiasm and the show was well turned out. Jason Vale gave a talk on juicing (well what else would The Juice Master talk about?!) and at the end gave away copies of his new book which resulted in quite a frenzy!
I’ll leave by saying thanks to everyone who was part of a great day and with a quote handed over by Jason Vale:
If you don’t look after your body, pretty soon you’ll have nowhere left to live.