Science - July 5, 2011

Organic is booming business

Sales of organic food grew by 32 percent this year compared with last year. That is the biggest rise since measurements of organic food sales started, reports the LEI.

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The market share of organic meat rose by 32 percent, the share of organic eggs by 35 percent, tea and coffee increased by 36 percent and dairy products by as much as 58 percent. The notable risers among non-perishable products (+43.7%) are drinks, meals and soups.
The growth is due to major food brands switching from conventional food to organic food. For example, the arrival of the Danish dairy company Arla in the Dutch consumer market is the factor behind the huge increase in organic dairy products. When Arla started to offer organic products, the market leader Friesland Campina had to follow suit. It is the food manufacturers rather than consumers that are driving growth in the organic sector, says LEI researcher Johan Bakker.
Last year, sales of organic food in supermarkets grew by 11.5 percent to give a paltry market share of 2.3 percent. The Netherlands had around 1,500 organic farmers and market gardeners in 2009.

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