Economic woes halt organic progress

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Tom Joyce

BY TOM JOYCE

@tomfruitnet

Economic woes halt organic progress

With the credit crunch encouraging UK shoppers to cut costs, organic food sales are feeling the pinch

Economic woes halt organic progress

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According to figures from market research firm TNS and reported in the Guardian newspaper, UK sales of organic products have fallen more than at any time in the last decade, as the credit crunch causes consumers to cut costs.

TNS reveals that organic sales have plummeted by almost 20 per cent since their peak in February, from €124m (£100m) a month to €100m (£81m) in the most recent four-week period recorded.

Although the decrease has been starkest for eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, one of the most popular sectors for organics, have also experienced a decline in sales.

The Guardian reports that some farmers have elected to quit organic production in order to save on costs, while others are delaying their entry into the market.

However, the Soil Association’s director of food and farming, Helen Browning, predicts that demand will plateau but not decline. “These values are important to people still - the concern about the way we farm, the way the countryside is under threat at times, about animal welfare,” she commented.

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