Our annual Market Report, launched this week, shows that, while the retail climate continues to be tough for everyone, organic food is a major £1.7bn market and is currently purchased by 86% of households. While many consumers are watching their spend more closely, certain categories of organic products have performed strongly and have increased sales in the last year including organic beef, baby food and dairy products. So prospects hardly looking "grim" for the sector overall, as he contends.
As 72% of organic food is bought through multiple retailers, the Soil Association has always worked with them and continues to enjoy constructive relationships and regular dialogue on developing the market further. And far from wanting more government 'support' for organic, we've simply called for the kind of progressive policymaking that sees, for example, the Danish, Swedish, Dutch, French, Italian, Austrian and German governments work with their organic farmers and retailers to deliver a more sustainable food system overall and for all. No surprise that the organic markets in these countries have grown over the past few years and continue to do so.
Finn Cottle, trade consultant, Soil Association