Nielsen data shows huge growth in organic market, even during the pandemic

Soil Association - organic box

Nielsen revealed this week at the virtual Organic Trade Conference that the UK market for organic food has reached its highest growth level in more than 10 years.

Organics have seen an increase in sales of 9.5% year on year, showing the power of healthy, fresh food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nielsen research indicated that the market is likely to reach £2.6bn by the end of the year. If that is accurate, consumers will have spent £50m per week on organic during 2020.

The increase is almost 3% more other non-organic food sales, according to Nielsen, which shared the results at the Soil Association Certfication's event entitled ‘Organic 2020: The Time is Now’. In September alone, organic sales showed a 12.5% increase from 2019 figures

“Organic has shown the vital importance of a farming system that works with nature – rather than against it – to protect and restore biodiversity, look after our soils and help to tackle the climate crisis," Clare McDermott, Business Development Director, Soil Association Certification, said. "With consumer habits shifting and people prioritising choices that are good for the environment and biodiversity, organic stands out for its benefits of transparency and integrity. I think the sector has a lot to feel proud of – and confident about. The time for organic is definitely now."

More than 300 delegates attended this year's show, which featured a wide range of speakers touting the many innovations around organics and the role it plays in the global sustainability efforts.

“We’re in 2020 now, the beginning of what is the most important decade that humanity has ever faced," said Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association, which certifies over 70% of all organic products sold in the UK.. "It’s time to come together to shift the way we eat, farm and care for the natural world. Organic has a key role to play, as a solution to so many of the challenges the world is facing. If we do it well, we can reverse the loss of biodiversity, feed people healthily, and reduce our impacts on the climate. That’s an extraordinary place to be in as a sector - and it’s a huge responsibility too.

“The next 10 years will be crucial. A charity like the Soil Association coming together with businesses can be a real force for change. We can share and learn together. We can collaborate and make the case to governments and policy makers about the change we need to see in the world. The time for organic really is now.”

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