Supply Issues Curbing Organic Growth

UK - Mintel Analysts say expansion of the UK's organic food market is being held back. Forcasters say the sector could grow by half its size again within the next five years but it is hampered by supply problems.
calendar icon 25 January 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

According to Talking Retail, Mintel says the market will increase in value by some 54 per cent during the next five years and is set to break through the £2bn mark by 2011.

Organic meat is set to be the fastest-growing sector over the next five years, as consumers back higher welfare standards. Also, growing consumer awareness of food miles has caused a shift towards locally sourced products. Imported varieties now account for just 30 per cent of the market – down from 70 per cent in 2002.

However, supply difficulties, as British producers struggle to meet the increasing demand, is curbing progress and opening the door to imported organic products.

David Bird, senior market analyst at Mintel, said that the lengthy conversion process from regular to organic farming takes several years to complete.

“Because of this many producers have not been able to react quickly to satisfy the growing demand for home-grown organic food. This has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the growth of the market."

According to the survey, seven out of ten Brits (71 per cent) have bought organic produce over the past year, and sales of organic food are now worth £1.5bn.

Mintel says that represents a 70 per cent increase since 2002.

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