Soil Association Certification’s Organic Market Report for 2023 unveils a noteworthy milestone, as the UK’s organic market has reached a record value of £3.1 billion. This growth is attributed to a 1.6% increase in sales throughout 2022, resulting in consumers spending almost £8.5 million daily on organic products in the UK.
Despite facing challenges such as the cost of living crisis, record inflation, uncertainty stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and ongoing Brexit-related issues, the organic market has thrived, marking its 11th consecutive year of positive growth.
Soil Association Certification Commercial Director, Alex Cullen, emphasized the remarkable transformation in the organic food and drink market since the onset of the pandemic, with an impressive 25.4% growth in just three years. In 2022, the organic market demonstrated resilience and strength, achieving a commendable 1.6% growth amidst economic turmoil.
While eight out of ten supermarket shoppers now buy organic products, the article notes that the sector faced challenges, particularly with consumers making tough decisions due to the cost of living crisis. Organic foodservice, however, stood out with a remarkable 152% growth, contributing significantly to the overall positive performance.
The article highlights fluctuations in sales across different channels, including supermarkets, online and box schemes, independent retailers, and organic non-food categories such as textiles and beauty and wellbeing products. It also underscores the positive trends in organic farming, with a 3.6% increase in organically farmed land in 2021.
Despite the challenges faced by UK farmers in 2022, organic farmers found relief as they avoided the impact of escalating fertilizer prices triggered by the war in Ukraine, presenting an opportunity for the organic farming movement to grow.
In the context of sustainability, the report introduces a new Sustainability Report, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to address challenges in the food system. Organic is positioned as a key solution, offering established choices backed by evidence and verifiable standards. With governments worldwide seeking solutions for environmental, nature, and health crises, organic emerges as a compelling option with proven credentials.
The report concludes with insights into the collaboration between the Soil Association and leading NGOs, such as WWF, Fairtrade Foundation, and the Forest Stewardship Council, in producing the Sustainability Report. It underscores the importance of organic farming in addressing climate, nature, and health crises, providing a ready-made solution for individuals, businesses, and governments committed to sustainable choices.