Sainsbury's boss Justin King has defended the chain's decision to launch an organic box scheme after specialist competitors dismissed the move.

Speaking at an FDF organic seminar, King said that the uproar over the supermarkets' entry into organic boxes was not justified. Citing the accessibility that the supermarkets offered, he claimed they could in fact help the cause of all organic box schemes.

"I feel there's a 'get off our turf' mindset," he said. "If you acknowledge our access to consumers and our ability to deliver on a bigger scale, why won't this trend flourish?"

He added that the organic sector still suffered from poor consumer understanding. "Convenient food doesn't sit comfortably in consumers' minds in an organic category.

"We launched our So Organic range last year that includes convenient food, so we think its time has come. But we've had several stabs at it in the past, so consumers still don't properly get it."