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UK Demand For Organic Food On The Rise

Published on Feb 9 2014 6:45 PM in Fresh Produce

UK Demand For Organic Food On The Rise

Following around four years of declining sales in the UK, partly due to tightened household budgets during the recession, demand for organic fruit and vegetables and dairy products are now on the rise again.

Improved product availability, consumers wanting to know where their food comes from and a demand for higher production standards, has helped drive the increase in sales for organic produce, according to the UK’s supermarkets and food organisations.

"Early indications show positive growth in the organic market in 2013, showing strong appetite among consumers for the environmental, animal welfare and health benefits of organic produce," said Bob Sexton, chief executive of certification at the Soil Association.

"Businesses that carry the Soil Association organic logo are experiencing relatively buoyant year-on-year growth of 5.3%."

Dairy products are now outperforming sales in the non-organic dairy sector, said Sexton.

"Organic sales account for 5%, 7% and 5.3% respectively of all milk, yoghurt and eggs," he explained.

At supermarket chain Tesco, sales of organic dairy products are also on the rise.

Sales of organic feta cheese increased by 95%, organic mature cheddar has risen by 45% and organic full-fat milk is up 40%.

"As the popularity of organic food increases, the more we are able to support our growers and suppliers by investing in research to offer shoppers even better-tasting produce,” said Harriet Turnbull, organic buyer at Tesco.

Overall organic sales grew by just over 1% in 2013, according to the latest figures from industry analysts Nielsen, valuing the UK organic market at £1.24 billion.

@ 2014 ESM Magazine

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