Brassica Growers' Association in appeal to raise funds for PR push

The Brassica Growers' Association (BGA) is appealing to its members and the industry to help raise an extra £7,000 for its Love Your Greens PR campaign.

The cash-strapped association can only stretch to a £25,000 budget, the same sum as last year, but is urging people to raise more to help reverse the decline of brassica sales seen over the past decade.

Kent-based cauliflower grower Geoff Phillpot, head of the BGA's PR committee, said: "We need an extra £7,000 to propel this campaign forward, so please rally round."

Pam Lloyd, whose PR firm is managing the campaign, said: "Considering the size of the industry, £25,000 is quite a limited budget with which to work."

The appeal was launched last week at Elsoms Seeds' brassica conference, held at its headquarters in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Lloyd told growers at the event that the campaign - launched last year and whose website (www.loveyourgreens.co.uk) went live last April - has to date returned a £579,050 advertising value equivalent in print coverage.

It reached an audited print circulation of more than 44 million and enjoyed success in newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph, which featured sprout growers the Haines family during the Christmas period.

Its pilot PR campaign in 2009, which had a "Save Our Cauliflower" theme, contributed to an 11 per cent increase in sales volumes of the vegetable in the two months after the campaign.

Figures showed a 2.6 per cent sales value increase in the past 12 months, although "that increase is probably going into the pockets of the retailers", said Lloyd.

"What this campaign needs is a five-year commitment pushing it forward. We were never going to turn around a supertanker like the brassica industry in one year."

She revealed that the PR campaign's plans for this year include looking at different products from the broccoli family, such as purple sprouting. It also includes more recipes and expanding on its social media campaign.

The Love Your Greens Twitter account now has 250 followers. Lloyd said there were other ideas on the cards but the campaign was limited in what it can do because of its budget.

- To donate to the campaign, call the BGA via the Processed Vegetables Growers' Association on 01507 602427.


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