According to the United Kingdom’s the Soil Association, sales of organic food in the country grew by 7.1 percent to £2.09 billion ($3.38 billion). The association’s Organic Report, published in February, found organic now accounts for 1.5 percent of the total UK food and drink market.
The strong growth reflects recent findings from research group England Marketing that showed 39 percent of British shoppers bought organic food and drink regularly and 80 percent said they had some knowledge of organic food and how it was produced.
Some of the key findings of the report are as follows:
- Supermarket sales of organic have grown by 6.1 percent
- Independent retailers increased sales of organic by 6.3 percent
- Sales of organic products through home delivery have grown by 10.5 percent
- Sales of organic into the foodservice market have grown by 19.1 percent
- The organic beauty and wellbeing sector grew by 13 percent to be worth £61.2 million
- Soil Association textile licensees increased organic sales by 30 percent to £28 million
Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification said; “It’s a positive time for organic as it ticks lots of boxes for consumers. Organic is extremely relevant for trends towards eating better food, knowing where your food comes from, avoiding pesticides or antibiotics and ‘free from’ diets. Increasingly, we’re seeing consumers choose organic as a shortcut to a healthy lifestyle and this will continue. Despite uncertainty around Brexit for us all, it brings lots of opportunities too – particularly for export for British organic and more product innovation.”
The boost in sales for organic produce in the UK is following a worldwide trend for more organic produce says the association in their press release of 21 February 2017. The global organic market is now worth AUD$106 billion and the growing trend has been experienced here in Australia where the sector has seen growth of 17 percent in five years to almost 0ne billion dollars, according to market research analysts IBISWorld.
Predictions from the analysts say the market could increase to $1.2 billion by 2022.
The report also says Australia has the “largest area of organic farmland in the world, covering more than 22.0 million hectares” with most of this going towards organic cattle farming.