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UK Organic Market Continues Growth Streak, But Domestic Production Lags

The Soil Association's recently released annual report highlights a robust trend in the UK organic market.

For the 12th consecutive year, the organic food and drink sector has shown growth, with the total market reaching £3.2 billion in 2023.

This represents a 2% increase over the previous year and nearly double the market value in 2011.

Consumer Demand Drives Growth

The sustained expansion of the organic market is fueled by rising consumer demand for healthier, more sustainable food options.

Shoppers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for products perceived as better for their well-being and the environment.

Compared to five years ago, shopper spending on organic products has surged by a third.

The Import Conundrum

Despite the market's promising upward trajectory, the report reveals a significant challenge for the UK organic sector: heavy reliance on imported goods.

This dependence on imports raises concerns about the carbon footprint associated with transporting organic products from overseas.

Stagnating Domestic Production

Furthermore, the Soil Association's analysis paints a worrying picture of stagnant domestic production. UK organic farmland has remained flat at 3% for several years, failing to keep pace with rising consumer demand. This lack of domestic supply further contributes to the reliance on imports to meet market needs.

The Need for Transformation

The Soil Association's report underscores the urgent need to stimulate growth in the UK organic farming sector. Policies and incentives that encourage farmers to transition to organic practices are crucial.

Increased domestic production can reduce reliance on imports, support local economies, and promote more sustainable food systems.


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