Tesco reaps benefits of revived interest in organic

Tesco says its sales of organic food have grown by more than 18 per cent over the last year, over twice the market rate.

Image: Bownose
Image: Bownose

Organic soft fruit including strawberries, blueberries and raspberries has been the star performer, up 34 per cent in the last year, while organic apples and pears are up 8 per cent.

Tesco fruit commercial manager Gareth Wilcock said: "The revival of organic foods has been gathering pace over the last few years, with keener prices and better availability both playing a major part in that.

"We have been working hard to get quality, organic produce into stores as quickly as possible, to provide extra days of freshness for customers. Smaller snacking pack sizes for several key organic berry fruit lines, has also helped with portion control and cutting down on potential food waste."

Tesco's main UK organic fruit supplier is Organic Farm Foods, based near Evesham in Worcestershire, which supplies a range of home-grown and exotic fruit. Its managing director Adam Wakeley said: "Traditionally the two biggest challenges for organic produce have been price and availability, and we have been working closely with Tesco and our growers around the world to improve availability as we move between seasons."

The Organic Trade Board (OTB), a non-profit organisation of more than 120 food producers and retailers including Tesco, was formed in 2008 to promote the benefits of organic food. Its chair Paul Moore said: "Nearly two-thirds of organic consumers have entered the market since 2009 and are young, highly motivated and engaged with food.

"Our research shows motivation around health and the environment underpins the interest in organic foods, with over 45 per cent of existing consumers expecting to buy more organic in the next 12 months."


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