Organic market looking strong on the road to 2030
On Thursday 21st October, more than 300 organic sector delegates joined us for our 2021 hybrid Organic Trade Conference, sponsored by Fyffes, Alara Wholefoods and Community Foods.
The conference, titled ‘Organic on the road to 2030', delved into key insights and current trends in the organic market, highlighting the increasing consumer demand for products with higher welfare and continued organic market growth, despite a slowing of non-organic trade.
Hosted by journalist, Rebecca Smithers, the conference welcomed speakers from businesses across the organic sector, including:
- Henry Dimbleby, Author of the National Food Strategy
- Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, NielsenIQ
- Gael Laurie, Brand Building Director, The Crow Flies
- Thain Coventry, Head of Strategic Buying, Milk & More
- Catriona Mantle, Senior Category & Brand Manager – Organic, Arla Foods
The UK needs to get trade right
Opening the event, Keynote speaker, Henry Dimbleby, described the recent New Zealand trade deal announcement as “disappointing” and slammed the UK government for “ignoring his advice”. He criticised the government for rejecting his advice to ensure trade deals do not open us up to cheap imports from other countries that have been produced with higher environmental impacts and C02 emissions, and lower animal welfare.
Speaking on this, he said: "There is one thing that risks destroying the whole transformation – trade, and getting trade right. There is no point in creating a system that looks after animals, sequesters animals and supports biodiversity if this is not reflected overseas.
"Lifting UK horticulture is about stability, Government support and a new concerted effort to bring new entrants in sector."
Organic market remains in good health
The latest data from NielsenIQ presented at conference shows that, irrespective of the pandemic, the organic market remains in buoyant good health with 6.5% growth in the year to September. This is in marked contrast to non-organic which has seen sales flatline and start to decline over the last 12 weeks.
Speaking on behalf of NeilsenIQ, Mike Watkins informed delegates that since the beginning of the pandemic the online organic market has grown to 33% and organic lamb is currently one of the fastest growing sub categories, at 36%.
People are choosing organic for their health and the environment
Launching Soil Association Certification's 2021 shopper insight on the influences driving the organic shopper, Gael Laurie, Brand Building Director at The Crow Flies spoke about the reasons people choose organic today:
"The research, shows two clear drivers: health and the environment.
"Fewer pesticides and chemicals are a key factor that underpin the rationale for shoppers choosing organic, with animal welfare also playing a part in the choices shoppers make."
Looking towards 2030
Soil Association Certification Business Development Director, Clare McDermott closed the conference by saying: “The latest surge in organic sales proves that the British public want food produced with more, not less, care for the environment and animal welfare.
"Insights show that shoppers are seeking out higher welfare products that are produced with the environment in mind, and they want to support British farmers. Flooding our supermarket shelves with lower quality imports is at odds with what shoppers are telling us they want to buy.
"Trade deals should protect sustainable, British farmers, and we should be looking to deliver more of the benefits that agroecological farming, like organic, can provide for wildlife, soils, people and climate.”