Organic Food Sector Suffers Slump In Sales

Sales of organic products in the UK suffered a 13 per cent fall in 2009, according to new figures from the Soil Association.
The data, published in the group’s Organic Market Report, shows that organic sales dropped by 12.9 per cent to £1.84 billion last year as consumers tightened their belts and opted for cheaper alternatives during the recession.
Supermarkets saw sales of the three largest categories of organic food – dairy, fruit and veg and fresh meat – fall by 6.5 per cent, 14.8 per cent and 22.7 per cent respectively.
However, some products bucked the trend including organic milk which saw a 1 per cent rise and organic baby food which saw sales grow by 20.8 per cent, passing the £100m mark.
The Soil Association said sales of organic produce have picked up since the start of the year on the back of increased confidence among consumers, and is predicting the UK market to expand by between two and five per cent in 2010.
Peter Melchett, policy director for the Soil Association, said in a statement: “The current economic climate is certainly the toughest the organic movement has faced for 20 years.”
“We are confident that the organic market, having weathered the recession, will return to growth.”