Organic food sales growing by £2.3 million a week – Fishupdate.com

Organic food sales growing by £2.3 million a week Published:  15 November, 2005

SALES of organic products continue to grow much faster than sales in the non-organic grocery market and last year reached £1.213 billion – an 11% increase on the previous calendar year – according to figures released yesterday by the Soil Association. The growth in sales equates to £2.3 million a week.

The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2005 – the most comprehensive review of the organic sector – says sales of organic products through box schemes, farm shops and farmers’ markets increased by 33% in 2004. Sales through independent shops also rocketed, increasing by 43%. The supermarket share of the market fell from 81% to 75% but still accounts for £913 million in sales.

“This report shows that the popularity of organic food is growing steadily and the organic market has a bright future,” says Patrick Holden, the Soil Association’s director. “Increasing numbers of people are eager to buy local to obtain the freshest organic food possible and to cut down on the environmental pollution caused by ‘food miles’, which is good news for small local producers.

“Some supermarkets are responding positively to the appetite for local food, but others are choosing to fly in the face of consumer expectations and government targets by increasing their reliance on imports. Imported beef and pork may be cheaper, but they mean increased food miles and are often produced to lower animal welfare standards. After two consecutive years in which little or no progress has been made towards the import reduction goals set in the Organic Action Plan, the government needs to step up its efforts to get the major retailers to take its targets seriously.”

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