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Soil Association Marketing Report 2014

The Soil Association 2014 Organic Market Report shows a return to growth in the UK organic market in 2013 which is the first time since 2008. The total organic market grew by 2.8% in 2013 compared to the year before and was valued at £1.79 billion. Organic sales are growing slightly ahead of the overall grocery sales for 2013, which finished the year at around +2.1%.

Sales growth was strongest in those outlets where organic shoppers can find a good range of organic products, such as independent retailers (+6.9%), online sales and box schemes (+11%) and catering (+10%). Overall sales in supermarkets increased by 1.2%, but there are clear differences in the sector, and Sainsbury's is now the UK's biggest organic retailer with 29% market share. According to the Soil Association this indicates that other supermarkets are yet to capitalise on increasing consumer demand for organic.

Confidence is returning to organic sales as growth is expected to continue in 2014, but the same cannot yet be said for organic production. Defra figures for the end of 2012 show organic land falling compared with the year before in all four parts of the UK, although data for 2013 are not yet available. ORC data from a small producer survey in England show that confidence appears to be slowly returning among producers, but about 3% of respondents stated that they intended to leave the organic sector in the coming year. The Welsh producer survey found that about 20% of producers had withdrawn in 2013. It is hoped that the policy makers will see the opportunity the growing market presents and take the right decisions when planning the new organic support schemes as part of CAP. read more   

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