Recession slashes organic food sales by 12.9%

12 April 2010 by
Recession slashes organic food sales by 12.9%

UK sales of organic food slumped by 12.9% in the last year as falling consumer demand and the toughest trading environment for 20 years took their toll.

The hardest-hit organic products were fruit, vegetables, meat and bread, which have the biggest price differential with their non-organic equivalents.

A report by the Soil Association showed that overall organic sales dropped from a high of £2.1b in 2001 to £1.84b last year.

Organic beef sales plummeted 30%, while lamb dropped 10%, and production of organic chickens fell 20%, despite the efforts of chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to highlight animal welfare, the Guardian said.

But the picture appears better for 2010, with the Soil Association reporting small market expansion of between 2% and 5% in 2010.

Last year a Food Standards Agency study reported that there was "no important differences in the nutrition content, or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food."

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Chef Simon Rogan on why it is good to grow your own >>

Compass wins Soil Association organic accreditation in London >>

By Neil Gerrard

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