UK organic market edges towards £2bn after third year of growth

The Soil Association's 2016 Organic Market Report launched today (23 February) reveals the organic market saw value growth of 4.9 per cent in 2015, while the non-organic grocery market decreased by 0.9 per cent.

Image: Charles Smith
Image: Charles Smith

This is the third year of consecutive growth for the UK organic sector, which is now worth £1.95 billion, and mirrors a global trend.

Organic farms are getting bigger, the report says, with the average size of an organic farm up by 10 hectares since last year. While there has been a 4.9 per cent decrease in the amount of land farmed organically, this trend has already started to reverse as more farmers buy land for organic conversion.

Soil Association head of farming Liz Bowles said: "The UK organic sector is now in steady growth, signalling a positive future. More consumers are taking food provenance seriously."

Growth was greater through independent retailers (8.0 per cent) than in supermarkets (3.2 per cent). But the biggest growth came from organic box schemes (9.1 per cent) and organic catering (15.2 per cent). However organic's share of the total food and drink market is still just 1.4 per cent, the report states.

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