“Eco instead of ego” (Öko statt Ego): The current organic industry campaign promotes more sustainability in everyday life. It aims to encourage consumers to shop in an environmentally friendly way in organic specialist shops.

The campaign, initiated by members of the Federal Association of Natural Foods Natural Products (Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren – BNN), propagates the conscious consumption of well-produced and responsibly transported goods as the right way forward. Consumers are being wooed to go down this path by being addressed directly: “We are the ecos and we need you! Because only together we can make a difference. Where and what you buy has a direct influence on the world of today and tomorrow”, says the campaign website www.oekostattego.de.

With the campaign, organic shops, organic supermarkets and organic manufacturers want to show that they are concerned with “lived sustainability from field to plate”. In the definition of their own being, things sometimes get a bit more pathetic: “We are world-improvers. For us, sustainability is more than just a buzzword. We prefer to be consistent than to get rich quickly.”

“Organic is not a trend, organic is conviction”

The campaign is an association of industry players, including both members and non-members of the BNN, so the statements reflect the self-conception and self-confidence of the industry, as comments show: “Organic is not a trend, organic is conviction” is the unanimous opinion of companies as different as Barnhouse and Neogrün. And Lebensbaum emphasises that “WHERE and WHAT you buy has a direct influence on the world of today and tomorrow”, as the campaign explains.

Broad advertising of the campaign

Stickers and posters in and around the participating retailers and companies are used for advertising, and the social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will also be used intensively until the end of the campaign next year.

Owner-managed retailers as well as retailers who do not exceed a certain annual turnover can be involved as partners without a financial contribution, explains Kathrin Jäckel, campaign manager at BNN. Upon registration, they receive a free starter kit with posters, door stickers and flyers; costs are only incurred if additional campaign material is ordered.

Participant numbers are rising

“Eco instead of ego” is primarily financed by contributions from the campaign partners in the areas of production and wholesale. Based on the turnover-based BNN membership fee regulations, the BNN asks for a financial contribution of half a year’s subscription per year of the campaign period. “By the way, membership of the BNN is not a prerequisite for participation. The only requirement is the qualification as a company of the organic food trade,” Jäckel invites the industry to participate.

According to the BNN, 547 partners (as of 6 February 2020) are currently participating in the industry campaign of the organic food trade, 450 of which are retailers or sales outlets, 77 manufacturers and 20 wholesalers.

We asked Kathrin Jäckel about the campaign initiators’ expectations, regional differences in distribution and the activities planned for 2020. You can read her answers HERE.