British Shoppers Get More Organic Food

Consumer pressure works! British shoppers have demanded that more organic fruits and vegetables grown locally be made available in their supermarkets. As in North America, there has been criticism of the supermarkets for flying in organic food from great distances. In response a report from the Soil Assocation reveals that five out of the eight big foodstores now buy at least three quarters of their organic staples from Biritish suppliers. This is compared with only two stores in 2003. Kudos to Waitrose and Marks & Spencer which both get 89 percent of the food surveyed from Britain. Organic food sales are big business in Britain, as we have previously reported--they are expected to hit £1.5M this year alone. :: earlier treehugger post
To carry out this survey 1,500 shoppers monitored the sales of eight organic foods: potatoes, apples, onions, carrots, pork, beef, chicken and lamb--foods widely available from British farms. The biggest change was in onions: the sale of british onions has almost doubled--from 38% to 73%. British apples, once the hallmark of british fruit, had declined because shoppers wanted perfect looking fruit. Now it seems that people are willing to eat the ones with character: local organic apple sales increased to 40% ( from 24%). The British are still great meat eaters but there has been a change--most of the meat used to come from Holland, Germany or Argentina. Now 90% of the lamb at all the supermarkets is british. As Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said":...most but not all of the major supermarkets have raised their game in sourcing more seasonal U.K. produced organic food thanks to persistent, public scrutiny from our supporters". ::Soils Association via ::Evening Standard