Organic meat sales fall in 2009

The Soil Association has revealed that sales of organic food fell by 12.9% to £1.84b in the UK last year with meat particularly being hit hard, a study has shown.

After an all-time high for organic in 2008, last year saw the biggest UK sales low since 2005 where fresh meat sales performance fell by 22.7% with an organic market share of 5%.

In what is described as the most comprehensive study of the UK organic trade, the Organic Market Report published by the Soil Association, shows that in line with other retail sectors, shoppers spent less on organic food in the recession while retailers reduced organic ranges and shelf space.

Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said: “It has been a tough year for the organic market, but we have seen businesses that are most committed to communicating the many, real benefits of organic food and farming to the public perform best.”

He added: “The question we should really be asking is not ‘can we afford organic food?’ but ‘can policy makers afford to carry on playing down the potential of organic farming’s contribution to food security and tackling climate change?’ In the meantime, we need to rekindle the kind of consumer demand that will ultimately be impossible for policy makers and retailers, to ignore.”

>>Soil Association calls for change in meat-eating habits

>>Mandatory EU organic logo revealed

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