UK sales of organics drop 12.9% in 2009

By by staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic food

Sales of organic products in the UK fell by 12.9% in 2009 to £1.84bn, according to new figures published this morning by the Soil Association.

While several retailers have reduced shelf-space devoted to organic food as the market has contracted, the Soil Association is still predicting a ‘modest market expansion’ of 2-5% in 2010.

“The three biggest categories – dairy, fruit & vegetables, and fresh meat – saw supermarket sales fall by 6.5%, 14.8% and 22.7% respectively. In contrast, organic milk bucked the trend in dairy sales, growing by 1%, with 2009 being the best year for organic milk sales on record, and organic baby food sales, resilient throughout 2009, grew by 20.8% passing the £100M mark.”

However, sales of organic bread and bakery fell through the floor, dropping 39.8% in 2009.

Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, said: “We are confident that the organic market, having weathered the recession, will return to growth. The question we should really be asking is not ‘can we afford organic food?’ but ‘can policy makers afford to carry on playing down the potential of organic farming’s contribution to food security and tackling climate change?”

The full report is available here​.

Related topics: Fresh produce

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