Monday, March 19, 2012

The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2012 found that 83 percent of households purchased organic products in 2011. Overall sales were down 3.7 percent during that time, but certain categories showed  gains: baby food (+6.6%); lamb (+16%); poultry (+5.8%) and cosmetics (+8.7%).

Other key findings in the report include:
    • The growth in sales through box schemes, home delivery and mail order (up 7.2% to £167 million) meant that independent retail sales increased their share of the organic market to 28.6%.
    • Waitrose saw sales decrease by 2.2% compared to a 9.5% drop in the combined sales of the other six leading multiple retailers.
    • Local and direct sales of organic fruit and vegetables and supermarket sales of organic fruit held their own, despite a drop in sales of organic vegetables and salads through multiple retailers.
    • Dairy products and fresh fruit and vegetables continue to be the most popular organic categories accounting for 29% and 23% of sales respectively.
    • Outside the retail sector, the restaurant and catering sector grew by 2.4%. Notable successes in 2011 include an increased take-up of organic food in schools, nurseries and hospitals through the Soil Association-led Food for Life Partnership and Food for Life Catering Mark.
    • Soil Association Certification, the UK’s leading certifier of organic food and farming, reports that the turnover of its licensees increased by 0.5% from April 2011 to January 2012.
    • UK organic land area decreased by 2.8% and represents 4.2% of farmland. The most encouraging picture was in England where the rate of conversion slowed but fully organic land area increased by 16%.