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Upbeat picture emerges on organic sales

Date Published: 22/12/2009

As all of the doom and gloom headlines predicting the recession-related death of the organic sector start to fade into the mists of time, we may now being seeing some more reliable figures that tell something closer to the true story.

We said all along that, not forgetting the pain of pig and poultry producers, the sector as a whole was operating on a fairly even keel. Yes, there has been hardship, along with the rest of the economy, but we haven’t seen anything like the wholesale shutdown of organics. And nor would we have expected to.

Now research body, Organic Monitor, has taken a look at the figures over the longer term and highlighted some of the patterns around Europe, as reported here by FoodNavigator.com.

What the data seems to highlight is that some UK retailers pre-empted their organic customers by assuming they would buy less organic products and promptly whipping many lines from the shelves. That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of falling sales, of course. But as demand failed to follow their sales prediction charts down to the bottom of the cliff, they’ve had to ramp-up their offerings again.

Organic Monitor suggests single digit growth for organics across Europe in 2009. I think anybody in the industry would have taken that if it was offered as a guarantee at the start of the year. While UK organics was apparently among the worst hit, it’s still kicking and preparing to take on 2010 with renewed vigour.