UK organic market worth £2.2 billion after sixth year of growth

Press Release

Triodos Bank sponsors this year's Organic Market Report from the Soil Association, showing 6% growth in organic

The Soil Association's 2018 Organic Market Report reveals the UK organic market is now worth more than ever at £2.2 billion, growing 6% in 2017. The market has now had six years of steady growth, with organic accounting for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market.

Key trends highlighted in the report include:

  • Supermarket sales of organic grew by 4.2% in 2017 [1]
  • Independent retailers increased sales of organic by 9.7%
  • Sales of organic for home delivery, including box schemes, grew by 9.5% and now account for almost 13% of the organic market
  • Sales in foodservice, including through the Organic Served Here scheme, grew by 10.2%

The rate of growth in independent retail and home delivery has overtaken supermarket sales, and almost 30% of all organic sales now take place online or on the high street.

Triodos Bank has been an active supporter of the organic sector for more than 35 years, working with organic businesses from field to fork, from farmers and growers to processors and retailers. Triodos lends to more than 330 organic food and farming businesses and around 1,500 across Europe.  Well-known UK customers include Riverford Organics, Neal's Yard, River Cottage, CaféDirect and independent retailers Better Food Company (Bristol) and Hisbe (Brighton).

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification, said:"We know shoppers are putting increasing value on trust, transparency and traceability when making their purchasing decisions. Organic delivers on those values and is also increasingly seen as the healthy and ethical choice thanks to mounting evidence of the difference between organic and non-organic, both in terms of nutrition and environmental impact.

"This stamp of assurance will only become more important as understanding of organic increases and we look toward the formation of new trade deals post-Brexit. Encouragingly, shoppers are remaining loyal to UK organic in the face of this, buoyed by the assurance and benefits the organic label and Soil Association symbol brings, and we expect the market to continue growing at pace in coming years."


Simon Crichton, Food, Farming and Trade Team manager at Triodos Bank said:"Historic farming practices, the reduction in soil organic matter over the last 50 years, and the general health and biodiversity above and below ground, are starting to have an impact on land sale and rental values. This can only be good news for existing organic farmers and those considering conversion. It will build further confidence in the often-hidden value of sustainable farming practices in the natural capital we all rely upon.

"Meanwhile, the same factors behind the growth of organic remain: health, environment, availability and choice. Triodos Bank will continue to support the organic sector and I expect to see continued growth in demand, creating a further draw for conversion of land for organic farming."


The Soil Association's Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Market Report also launches today, revealing that the organic and natural beauty market was worth £75.9 million in 2017, up 24% on the previous year, alongside a 25% growth for organic textiles. This growth is driven by rising consumer demand for transparency and trust alongside an increasing interest in wellness which spans food and beauty.  The significance and need for certification for beauty products is becoming ever clearer and COSMOS-certified brands (the Soil Association standard) now number more than 5,000.

-Ends-

Notes to editors:
The Organic Market Report may only be used for editorial purposes. Not for external distribution.

References:
[1] Nielsen Scantrack Total Coverage (Supermarkets and Convenience Stores), 52w/e 30th December 2017

For further information please contact:
Ed Grattan, Triodos Bank
07817413792
ed.grattan@triodos.co.uk

Gemma Court, Soil Association
T: 0117 314 5195
M: 07703 835931
gcourt@soilassociation.org

About The Soil Association 
The Soil Association was founded in 1946 by farmers, scientists, doctors and nutritionists to promote the connection between the health of the soil, food, animals, people and the environment. Today the Soil Association is the UK's leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. Its Chief Executive is Helen Browning, and Chair of Trustees is Gabriel Scally.

Soil Association Certification is a wholly owned subsidiary which certifies over 70% of all organic products sold in the UK. Certifying organic food and farming since 1973, and more recently, organic textiles, health and beauty products, the team has built up extensive practical experience and provides unrivalled support before, during and after certification.  It also audits other schemes within catering and forestry, including the Food for Life Served Here, and the FSC and PEFC forestry standards internationally, delivering assurances of quality and provenance that industry and consumers can trust. Its Chief Executive is Martin Sawyer and its independent board is chaired by Nick Buckland. To find out more visit www.soilassociation.org

About Triodos Bank 
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €13.5 billion (2016) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.

With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.

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