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Organic food sales ‘on the up’

Organic food sales ‘on the up’

Sales of organic produce increased by 2.8 per cent in the UK during 2013, newly released statistics show.

Figures from the Soil Association's annual report have revealed that the country's organic market is now worth approximately £1.79 billion, which has placed its inflation rate higher than the national average of two per cent.

An increasing number of organic products - 10.4 per cent - were purchased by consumers from online grocery retailer Ocado, while sales at Waitrose were up by 6.5 per cent.

Sainsbury's remains the largest seller of organic goods in the UK though, with its own brand range seeing sales increase by seven per cent during the last 12 months.

Most of these sales were from dairy produce, while those relating to vegetables, fish, meat and poultry also increased.

Independent retailers saw the sale of organic foods grow too, by an impressive 6.9 per cent, taking them to almost £10 million each week.

Restaurant chains such as Pret A Manger and - somewhat surprisingly - McDonald's contributed to the market's growth as well, as they have begun to place a higher importance on supplying customers with organic substances such as milk, tea and coffee.

This was helped by the Soil Association's Food for Life catering campaign, which aimed to encourage popular chains to use organic goods. Overall, this project was responsible for a ten per cent increase in organic sales among catering and restaurant businesses.

However, the number of people producing and processing organic goods in the UK decreased by 6.3 per cent, falling to just 6,487.

Farm businesses were found to be more stable and profitable than those working with non-organic produce though, with this being apparent for the six years between 2006 and 2012.

In addition to the growth among the food sector, sales of organic health and beauty products also increased, by an impressive 17 per cent, making the market for these goods worth an approximate £37.2 million.

 

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