Organic Sales in UK Supermarkets get a Healthy Boost

from Bonnie in London-Sales of organic foods are booming in supermarkets in England. In 2003 sales of organic food and drink rose twice as fast as the rest of the grocery market. Now in 2005 Sainsbury’s,the third largest supermarket, has increased sales in the last three months by 5% and attributes a significant part of this profit to higher sales of organic foods. Their sales of organic milk have grown by 74% in the past year alone. In response to this demand they have now announced that they are going to boost supply by taking out long-term contracts with dairy farms that are willing to convert their land to organic production. In addition there was a severe shortage of British organic milk last year and prices skyrocketed. This was welcomed by the Soil Association but they have expressed qualms about the industrialisation of the organic farm sector. Other up-market supermarkets have also announced big increases in the sale of organic foods. They attribute this to increased concern about health issues and interest in the provenance of food. Waitrose, a smaller but premium supermarket has said that its organic sales increased by 20% in the year to January. Morrison’s saw sales increase by 28% and Asda ( Wal-Mart) by 12%.

Many people are starting to use the burgeoning box-scheme. With this concept households receive weekly deliveries of organic produce from farmers and producers. Obviously this is not available everywhere and appeals to a higher economic bracket of consumer. Farm shops and farmers’ markets have been thriving and growing. This whole sector increased sales by more than 40% in 2004. ::Guardian