Upbeat news about the growth of the UK organic food market can be misleading

organic food shop produce

Adelina Gschwandtner co authors study on organic food consumption, discovering that higher prices explain sector growth, not increased consumption.

Adelina Gschwandtner and Cesar Revoredo-Giha from SRUC UK analyse Kantar data on the organic food consumption in the UK, and find that in the case of organic meats, higher prices can explain the increase in sales, since quantities have been decreasing.

‘The LSE blog shows that the recent increase in organic food sales in the UK is due to increased prices rather than increased quantity consumed.’ Gschwandtner explained. ‘If the UK is to create growth of the organic sector they will need to develop the supply chain, simultaneously expanding the demand and increasing the supply of the sector.”

Solutions proposed by the European Commission to address these points encompass encouraging organic farming and its logo, promoting the use of organic products in canteens and as part of school schemes, and facilitate the contribution of the private sector, which are a necessary combination of push and pull. If the high prices are due to high average costs, then expanding the production level should take advantage of scale economies but this is only possible if there is a steadily increasing demand.

Read the full blog here.

Last updated