Best of British

It would appear that consumers are discovering a taste for organic meat in a big way, and the good news is that the organic meat they crave is British.

According to reports, the organic beef market has climbed by 44% and shows little sign of slowing. The bad news is, while consumers might want it, there is not enough of it and the worry is that to meet the growing demand, the retailers are likely to have to look overseas.

Producers are being urged from all sides to tap into this phenomenal demand, but there appears to be something of an air of reluctance. In many ways I cannot blame them. Having witnessed the dairy sector's headlong rush to convert to organic, only to face the horror of oversupply, many producers are right to be wary. But surely business by its very nature carries risk, and to ignore the opportunity simply to avoid taking a chance would be a waste.

To be fair to some of the big multiples, they are keen to grow the UK base and are working hard to provide appealing contracts to tempt producers into the sector in an ordered and managed way.

But as with everything, the retailers are chasing consumer demand, and given the fickle nature of our consumer-base, how long will that demand remain in place?

So the question that remains is this - can the UK industry take advantage of this window of opportunity, or is it too afraid to take the risk?

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