“Capitalizing on the Organic Trade Board’s recently secured EU grant, and working closely with them to get a thread of unification across the whole sector. I think that’s a really important thing for us as industry over the next few years.”

The comment comes from the founder of Bristol-based Better Food Company, Phil Haughton, in a short video interview he gave to NPN following our recent Food Roundtable event (watch the interview below).

Haughton was being asked what he considers is the biggest opportunity for the natural and organic food sector in the coming few years. He continues: “There’s an enormous opportunity to have an outward facing conversation with our consumers – and make the discussion much more mainstream. The OTB have already tried that, and done it very well with relatively small resources. We have huge opportunity to have a much bigger conversation.”

Talking about the wider picture for natural food, Haughton comments: “If I’m being honest and critical I feel that as a sector we have had a tendency to chase the trends, chase the free-froms, or veganism – or whatever it might be – rather than asking how does that fit in with our message, and what is our message? That’s something I’m keen for us to explore. I’m looking to talk to people and have debates about what our message should be, and what do we want to be.”

“We have had a tendency to chase the trends … rather than asking how does that fit in with our message, and what is our message?”

Describing how in 2017 Better Food Company would make its fresh product range an even more important part of the its overall offer, Haughton says: “In the end I think it goes back to simplicity. It comes back to simple ingredients. To un-complex dishes. We’ve tended to kowtow tea degree to the convenience market. But the power of the single ingredient coming together in somebody’s kitchen can never be underestimated.”

Watch our video interview with Phil Haughton here.