Organic bakery down despite overall market growth


first_imgSales of organic bakery products slumped last year, despite the overall market bouncing back to growth after four years of decline.According to The Soil Association’s annual Organic Market Report, published today, organic bakery and cake sales through the multiples fell 12.1% last year, while the total market for organic food and drink grew by 2.8% to a total value £1.79bn.Independent retailers have led the way, with growth of almost 7%, while supermarkets saw overall sales up 1.2%. Sainsbury’s – the country’s biggest organic retailer with a 29% market share – saw a 7% increase in sales of its own-label organic products, closely followed by Waitrose who saw its organic sales increase by 6.5%.Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification, said: “To see the organic market showing such strong signs of growth, particularly when grocery sales as a whole are slowing, shows just how much potential there is in the organic sector. The message to supermarkets and other retailers and organic businesses is clear: if you make organic goods available and promote them well, consumers will respond by continuing to purchase the products they have confidence in.”last_img read more

Whicker: Washington’s Doolittle picks up saves off the field as well


first_imgSean and Eireann did something else, well out of camera range. They sponsored a gift registry for those families, and others who have benefited. People signed up quickly, just as they had volunteered to build the houses, and suddenly there weren’t just drawers and closets, there were bedspreads and kitchenware.This is what happened when you don’t shut up and throw fastballs, when you don’t just stick to sports.Doolittle is pretty good at his night job. He had faced 36 batters and struck out 19 of them, coming into Sunday night’s game at Dodger Stadium. He has a lifetime WHIP of 0.925, which is outstanding, and last year he had 34 saves for the A;’s and Nationals. Oakland donated Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals for reliever Blake Treinen last summer.This all happened after Doolittle gave up a promising offensive career, with a career .819 OPS in the minor leagues, because of knee injuries.But he and Eireann schedule all this themselves, hanging onto their independence. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error They’re hoping to launch a mental health resource for veterans, and their proximity to the government has helped. They met with the Brookings Institution and a human rights campaign in Washington, and they have scheduled a visit to Walter Reed Army Hospital.They also bought and distributed 900 tickets when the Athletics held an LGBT night, and they organized a Thanksgiving dinner in Chicago for Syrian refugees.But the fantasy league commissioners and the barstool fans don’t realize that Doolittle is not alone among pro athletes, that hundreds are coaching, mentoring, comforting and financing during the rapidly shrinking hours they have outside the arena.For Doolittle it comes back to veterans. His parents were both in the service. His dad Rory went to Oman for yet another Air Force deployment, after 9/11 to work on the KC-135 stratotankers that refueled the planes that were part of the invasion of Iraq. He got a Bronze Star for it, too.Five years ago Doolittle discovered that he is the seventh cousin of Jimmy Doolittle, organizer of the Doolittle Raid in 1942, in which bombers flew from the USS Hornet and counterattacked Japan after Pearl Harbor.He knows enough to know that every veteran’s story is different. It’s not always a traumatic TV movie. It’s not always a Hallmark card either.“We tend to paint them with a broad brush,” Doolittle said. “They all have different reasons for signing up, and different experiences, too. But part of that is how wide the civil-military divide is. Less than one percent of Americans are serving. It can be alienating.“The general population can’t always relate to the sacrifice that comes with it. I think a lot of times, we need to listen to their stories.’He knows veterans need care, but they shouldn’t be viewed as patients or wards of the state. When you’ve worked on transportation detail in the middle of the desert, you return with know-how that is hard to find stateside.“They get involved in a brotherhood when they’re in the service,” Doolittle said. “But it’s inspiring to watch them get involved in the community. We should look at them as assets. We tend to judge people by the education level they have, but when you look at their on-the-job training, they can help in so many ways. At the end of the day they want to have a purpose.”Doolittle left the clubhouse and went onto the pregame field. He would sit among the noise and the careening emotion, where value is placed solely on the numbers his left arm generates.Maybe when he sees a veteran’s astonished face as a key slips into a lock, Doolittle is Finally Home himself.center_img LOS ANGELES — There are saves and there are holds and there was the moment in 2014 when two cars pulled up into a driveway in Elk Grove, with Sean Doolittle waiting.Doolittle is a left-handed reliever who now closes games for Washington, but then he was pitching for Oakland. He and Eireann, now his wife, committed themselves to a program called Operation Finally Home, to provide housing for returning veterans.“There were a bunch of people waiting for them in the neighborhood,” Doolittle said. “The families thought they were coming for a final interview, that it was going to be one or the other. Instead, both of the houses were theirs, and they were going to be next-door neighbors. That was real special.“A family like this gets a house to move into. That’s a very big thing off their plate.”last_img read more