Organic food sales experienced a marginal boost after levels rebounded over the course of February, according to latest figures.
The Organic Market Report published by the Soil Association revealed that there had been an 8.4 per cent rise over the last month compared to January. However, the overall market was still down 1.5 per cent and this has been attributed to the tough economic climate that the UK has been going through in recent years. Figures from Kantar Worldpanel showed that the total supermarket organic sales had reached their highest levels in nine months adding to a 25 per cent growth in the global market in the past three years.
While many major retailers have bore the brunt of the horsemeat scandal the issue has actually had a positive impact on the organic sector. Independent meat suppliers reported a sales increase of 20 per cent over the past month and this has been helped by leading officials questioning the UK's reliance on cheap, low-quality, untraceable food. One of the main benefactors was Ocado which saw its organic sales grow by 6.4 per cent which enabled it to overtake Asda and Morrisons to become the UK's fourth-largest organic retailer.
The report stated: "Indeed the three leading brands Ocado, Abel & Cole and Riverford saw a 10.3 per cent increase in sales. Another key trend is the 'Jamie Generation' of ethically aware consumers. Under 35s significantly increased their average spending on organic products in 2012, pointing to a healthy future for the organic market."
The horsemeat scandal also highlighted the need for there to be more transparency within the supply chain of major supermarkets across the country. Companies such as Tesco, Ikea and Findus were found to be selling products which contained equine DNA but were labelled as beef.
Suppliers across Europe were noted as being the cause of this problem with French firm Comigel being at the heart of the issue, prompting organisations to review their processes.