Roger Kerr OF&G

Roger Kerr

Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) has hailed the future prospects for the organic sector after a new report showed surging sales growth.

The Soil Association's Organic Market Report 2021, published last week, highlighted sales trends across all channels, including the highest year-on-year growth in 15 years of 12.6 per cent.

OF&G chief executive Roger Kerr said the report served as a timely reminder of organic’s potential. “There’s such a positive outlook for organic in the domestic market, with continued growth and increasing consumer appetite,' he explained. 'We must capitalise on this renewed interest by continuing to trumpet organic’sintegrity and veracity, as the only globally recognised agroecological standard.

“Following our departure from the EU, it’s vital we capitalise on the market opportunities both domestically and internationally on the back of organic’s unique benefits. Timing is essential, especially in light of the EU’s recent announcement of a new fund allocated to the promotion of EU agri-food products, of which €86 million will be used specifically to promote organic and sustainable farming within the EU and globally in 2021.

Kerr said that with the UK’s new position in the world, UK agriculture will need more than ever to be aware of market opportunities and respond accordingly if the industry is to deliver value beyond simple commodities. 'It is vital that the UK step up and secure its share of this valuable market,' he added.

OF&G has repeatedly called on government forbetter recognition and more consistent support for farming systems that are proven to benefit British farming, both environmentally and economically.

“We hope the release of this new data will give Defra the impetus to reconsider their approach within the Environmental Land Management scheme and explicitly recognise organic as providing an advantageous solution to many of the complex issues we currently face,” Kerr concluded.