Organic survey challenges price myths

A new survey has revealed organic beef can cost up to a third less than its non-organic alternative.

The survey, which looked at organic beef and lamb prices at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, showed that in all cases organic beef – and in two of the three supermarkets, organic lamb – cost less than the own-brand premium meat ranges. For some cuts, the organic version was up to 30% cheaper than a non-organic equivalent.

Overall, organic beef was cheaper than premium brands by an average of 10% and, in two of the three supermarkets, organic lamb was 1% cheaper.

The survey was conducted this month by Graig Producers, an independent livestock marketing group, in a bid to challenge perceptions that organic red meat is “expensive and elitist”.

Organic beef sales showed an increase of 18% in 2010 compared with the previous year, despite a small drop in the overall organic market. Supermarkets are now expecting to see a small overall increase for the organic market in 2011 or, at worst, a levelling out of sales.

Bob Kennard, managing director of Graig Producers, said: “When you consider the many benefits of organic food, not only to us, but to the animals and the environment, these results emphasise what excellent overall value for money organic red meat currently offers.

“If people are going to eat less meat, then it surely makes sense to eat the best-quality meat, which also benefits the environment, and ensures high animal welfare standards. Organic red meat enables consumers to do all this at reasonable cost.”

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