UK organic market now worth £2.79 billion, report says

The organic market has reached its highest growth rate in 15 years
The organic market has reached its highest growth rate in 15 years

The UK’s organic market is now worth £2.79 billion after sales grew by nearly 13 percent in 2020, a new report has revealed.

This is the highest year-on-year growth rate in the organic market since 2005, with a 10th consecutive year of growth.

The market is now on target to reach £2.9 billion by end of 2021, according to the Soil Association Certification’s annual UK Organic Market Report.

Total sales of organic hit £2.79bn, meaning more than £50m per week was spent on organic in 2020, as shopping habits changed due to the pandemic.

Online and home delivery sales fuelled much of the growth in the organic market in 2020, with sales increasing by 36.2%.

Sales of organic items in supermarkets increased by 12.5%, with many categories showing growth over 20%.

Sophie Kirk, of the Soil Association Certification, said products such as eggs, cheese, carrots, beef and lamb benefitted from strong sales growth.

"Online organic sales through box schemes and home delivery services have seen stand out growth of 36.2%, with many organic businesses expanding their online and direct to consumer sales."

She said there were opportunities for UK organic farmers looking to meet growing consumer demand for sustainable British food.

"Many organic producers are selling direct to the public, playing to their key strengths of promoting British sourcing and sustainability.

"The government must continue to invest in farming systems that deliver for climate, nature and health in the transition to ELMs,” Ms Kirk said.

The UK Organic Market Report also highlights growth in organic supermarket sales last year, increasing by 12.5 percent.

Categories which saw a boost in sales include: produce, which grew by 15.5%; meat, fish and poultry by 16.8% and dairy by 7.7%.