The UK is the largest consumer of organic produce in Europe according to a survey published today.

The Datamonitor report shows that almost 50 per cent of adults in the UK regularly ate or drank organic produce last year.

Not far behind are Germany (40 per cent) and France (38 per cent).

The report identifies two types of organic consumers: Those who buy organic food exclusively and those who only shop for organic produce occasionally.

Interestingly, of the seven countries surveyed, only Spain has fewer loyal organic consumers than the UK.

This may suggest that the UK consumer is more easily swayed by marketing strategies than a genuine commitment to organics.

Datamonitor's consumer markets analyst, Dominik Nosalik says: 'There will always be a niche group of altruistic consumers who are motivated to buy green and ethical goods for the greater good, but more people are buying green because that is what makes them feel better.' Spending on organics in Europe is expected to double in the next five years, reaching 17 billion euros.

By then it is anticipated that over half of European consumers will be choosing organics.