Wednesday, 19 January 2022 13:52

European Outdoor Group prepares to present ambitious plans for 2022

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The European Outdoor Group (EOG) is finalising its latest plans to help the sector take advantage of the public’s increasing appetite for outdoor activities.

The EOG will present proposals for its full 2022 programme of collaborative projects to its members in the lead up to the association’s Annual General Assembly next month. Reflecting, serving and promoting the entire value chain, work will focus on the major challenges and opportunities that can be approached most effectively through pre-competitive cooperation, building on an approach that dates back to the EOG’s foundation almost two decades ago.

During the height of COVID lockdown restrictions, research clearly demonstrated that citizens throughout Europe gained a greater appetite to get outside and into nature. As a result, despite the significant practical challenges that the pandemic has presented to all businesses, the outdoor sector has experienced a surge in interest in its products and services. Throughout that time, the EOG and its partners have continued to develop and deliver a portfolio of core projects, aligned to three pillars: Doing business right; preserving nature; and getting people active outdoors. These include a wide range of CSR and sustainability initiatives, an extensive market insights programme, and planning for the return of face-to-face trade events. With the support of members and the association board, the EOG executive team has been able to expand activity on several important fronts during the last year, with key progress on subjects such as single use plastics, supply chain decarbonisation, and market research. Meanwhile, two close partner organisations, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and the It’s Great Out There Coalition (IGOT), have led on conservation and promotion of participation, supported by the EOG.

At the EOG Annual General Assembly on 17 February, association members will be asked to approve an ambitious 2022 action plan that will involve even greater levels of collaboration on major pre-competitive issues, for the benefit of all involved and the wider sector. The proposals are possible thanks to the progressive development of the association since 2003, which has embraced change as the industry has matured and expanded. From an initial group of 19 brands, the EOG has grown to include over 110 brands, retailers, technology brands and national associations, with representation from throughout Europe and across the outdoor value chain. Recommendations from the EOG Board and executive team will be presented to members that are designed to pave the way for the next phase in the organisation’s evolution.

Mark Held EOG President addressing delegates at EOS 002

Mark Held, EOG President, comments: “From the very start, the European Outdoor Group has been a pre-competitive organisation that serves and represents the whole outdoor market place, with cooperation among all stakeholders at its heart, from brands to retailers and technology providers. We need the input of every part of the industry, so that we can drive collaborative action on the issues that no individual company can address in isolation. The sector has evolved over the years, and we have to keep our eyes and ears open to address and reflect these changes, which of course also affect our membership and its makeup. We will therefore strive to gather into the EOG all organisations that align with our values in a strong, sustained push to further the interests of the sector now, and in the future.

“We have a well-established process for agreeing the association’s direction of travel and annual work programme, and for assessing applications to join the EOG. Our membership committee is a statutory body of the organisation, like the board of directors, and its sole purpose is to assess and decide on all applications that we receive. That deliberation is free from political agendas and always focuses on topics that are crucial for the continued success of our sector, like high standards in CSR and sustainability, and a willingness to work with us towards the shared, overarching goals of the outdoor industry.”

The EOG’s 2022 work programme will be presented to members ahead of the Annual General Assembly, when they will have the opportunity to discuss them and will be asked to approve the proposals. Details will be shared publicly after the meeting.