Friday, November 18, 2005

Brits 'Get It' on Organics

From's Food and Drink section, news that's got to be disheartening for the UK's supermarkets, but a clear sign that British consumers understand the bigger picture of organic food:
Growing consumer demand for healthier, locally sourced products in the UK has led to an 11 per cent increase in demand for organic products over the last year, an annual audit of the UK organic retail sector by the Soil Association revealed.

But consumers are increasingly turning their backs on supermarkets in favour of buying directly from farmers and independent retailers in a bid to ensure they know the source of the produce, the report said.

Sales of organic products through box schemes (where farms deliver seasonal produce direct to customers), farm shops and farmers markets' increased by 33 per cent in the last year, while independent retailers saw the biggest growth in sales – a massive 43 per cent.

Yet the percentage of organic sales made by supermarkets fell for the third consecutive year from 81 per cent to 75 per cent.
According to the Soil Association, this demonstrates that Brits are not just thinking "organic=good," but also factor in considerations such as "food miles." While its probably way too soon to think the supermarket is headed for the dust bin (I do most of my shopping at one), I'm glad to see that British consumers are thinking about the impact of their grocery purchases and "voting with their dollars."

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