Organic sales up following horsemeat scandal

Purchases of organic produce has risen 8.4% in February over January figures, prompting suggestions from trade bodies and organisations that the horsemeat scandal has reinforced the value of produce certifications.

The figures from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel tell a different story to previous figures which showed a 1.5% drop in organic purchases in 2012, and 3.7% in 2011.

Consumer group Which? recently reported that 6 in 10 consumers have changed their shopping habits as a result of the horsemeat scandal – highlighting changing confidence in products and safety they may have previously taken for granted. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said calls for better labelling would allow consumers to “feel fully confident in the food they are buying once more.”

Organic certification organisation, the Soil Association said last week that consumers are “choosing to buy organic as a guarantee of integrity” and referred to “the Jamie generation” of ethically aware shoppers.

But despite this growth being encouraging, the Soil Association said there is more to do in Britain to support organic production. Its annual report recorded that sales of organic products in Europe had actually increased by 25% since the economic downturn, without the need of a supply chain scare.

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