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‘Organic’ Food Growing Weekly 2004-11-15

Posted by clype in Money.
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“Organic” food is a booming business in Britain, with retail sales growing at around 2_million_GBP/week, the pro-organic Soil Association said on Monday [2004-11-15].

Figures released by the group, which also acts as certifier of organically-grown food, said its latest survey shows that sales in the sector grew by more than 10 per cent in the year to 2004-04.

‘Retail sales of organic food are now worth 1 120 million GBP/year and are growing by 2 million GBP/week — the rate of growth is twice the rate of the general grocery market’, it said in a statement.

The market share held by big UK retailers like Tesco and J.Sainsbury has dwindled, mainly because most organic shoppers look to buy produce direct from suppliers.

The Soil Association said farm shops and home delivery schemes saw sales soar by 16 per cent in the 12 months to 2004-04 and are now worth around 108 million GBP annually.

Demand for organic baby food, which now account for nearly half of all baby food sold in Britain, continued to rise, it said, with sales up by nearly six percent.

‘The organic market is thriving and is being driven by consumers who want to buy fresh, local good-quality seasonal food directly from the farmer’, Patrick Holden, the Soil Association’s director, said.

Analysts say a string of worries linked to “mad cow disease” and “genetically-modified food” have helped sales of organic produce triple since 1998.

However, the sector still only accounts for less than two percent of the total UK grocery business, they added.

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