UK organic sales looking healthy

According to the latest retail figures from Kantar Worldpanel, over the past 12 months sales of organic produce grew by over 5%, up £44 million.

This increase follows a downturn which occurred during the recession when people focused on cheaper food, explained Ed Garner, Kantar’s director of communications, speaking at the Organic Farmers & Growers’ (OF&G) National Organic Cereals 2014 conference in July. He added that while consumers are still price-conscious, a greater number of people are buying organic groceries more frequently.

Specifically, said Garner, the organic dairy segment has seen strong growth, with organic yoghurt sales increasing by 13.7% and organic milk by 9.2%. “It’s an area we are expecting to see further interest, thanks in part to brands such as Rachel’s and Yeo Valley, which have become strong, mainstream brands that focus on quality rather than the fact they are organic,” he said.

“Things are looking much brighter for the organic sector, but there are challenges,” commented Roger Kerr, OF&G chief executive. “Integrity of feed is a major issue in ensuring producers are able to take advantage of the increasing demand. If we are going to help meet retailers’ targets for organic meat and dairy produce we need to see supplies of organic feed increase dramatically.”