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#OrganicSeptember – a recipe for success in Cumbria

Debbie Simpson with The Lakes Organic eggs and the veg boxes ready for delivery.

September is officially Organic month – and for two food companies in Cumbria it is time to celebrate their organic collaboration.

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) has been supplying food delivery service Eva’s Organics with locally produced free range, organic eggs since the start of the year and both businesses have seen healthy growth in sales.

Initially introduced on a trial basis, requests for organic eggs and fresh organic fruit and veg deliveries grew with the onset of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown. This local trend mirrors what is happening across the UK.

Demand for home delivery during the pandemic has led consumers to think harder about what they eat, preferring to look for local supplies of the best ingredients. It means an increase in sales of organic produce for both businesses. Whilst restrictions are easing, demand for organic eggs in Eva’s boxes has continued.

UK sales of organic food and drink have grown for the eighth consecutive year, rising by 4.5% to a record £2.45bn.* According to industry research, the biggest single growth channel was online retail and home delivery – including organic veg box schemes – where sales rose by 11.2%**.

This is something to celebrate especially during #OrganicSeptember. It’s a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of organic food and farming. Organised by the Soil Association, the focus of #OrganicSeptember is on the key principals of organic production – supporting biodiversity and wildlife, the highest standards of animal welfare, reduced exposure to pesticides, helping to combat climate change and producing food as it should be – food you can trust.

Lakes Organic eggs – Ullswater

David and Helen Brass who own and run The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, have followed ethical egg production since 1997, with animal welfare and environmental provenance at the heart of their business. Recognised as industry leading, they hold a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Production and an International Gold Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice.

Debbie, Mike, and Robert Simpson own and run Eva’s Organics, the organic fruit and veg box delivery service which prepared their first boxes in 1998. They were looking for an organic partner to extend the range they could offer customers.

Robert Simpson said: “Being a conscious consumer and knowing where your food comes from is important. We’re not just a family business – we’re developing a way of life that can be sustainable.

“Working alongside nature is at the heart of Eva’s organics I genuinely feel that this style of farming is what the world needs more of. Certified by the Soil Association – everything we do, we think about the impact we have on the planet. We produce fruit and vegetables all year round in our polytunnels and looked to provide a wider offering for our customers – including apple juice and eggs.

“We’re developing ways of farming and growing foods that help curb the effects of global warming and climate change, so finding an ethical supplier with the same principals was very important to us. The Lakes has a proven track record for sustainable, ethical production and they are locally based which makes them a perfect fit.”

David Brass, CEO at The Lakes said: “Consumers have been keen to support local suppliers during lockdown and here is real evidence that they are looking for quality ingredients.

“Food standards are part of a huge debate at the moment – so during #OrganicSeptember, we’ll certainly be making sure we highlight our very high animal welfare standards, the work we do to protect our flora and fauna and our environment.

“And whilst the economy is in recession, consumer evidence suggests that most consumers aren’t ready to trade down. Wellbeing is high on shoppers’ agendas, and combined with a renewed focus on health, prospects for organic sales are looking healthy.”

August industry data revealed that one of the most significant lockdown trends, online shopping, reached another new record market share in the latest four weeks – with 13.5% of all sales now ordered through the internet. An estimated £200m a month is now spent on organic food and drink.

Encouraging people to try organic during #OrganicSeptember, The Lakes will be sharing their Organic recipes organic recipes and working with Evas Organics to create awareness.

For more on The Lakes Free Range Egg Co, visit The Lakes Free Range Egg website

*Soil Association

**Kantar data

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