Recent data from the UK shows that their organic sector has returned to growth, according to the Soil Association. 

Bucking an overall trend of declining grocery sales (down 3.2% in 2013), organic product sales increased by 2.8% in 2013, the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2014 says.

This market growth has been spread across the whole range of organic produce with growth in organic dairy sales at 4.4%, fruit and veg at 3.2% and red meat, poultry and fish seeing an increase of 2.2%.

Among the biggest growth areas for organic retail sales were box schemes and home delivery which saw an 11% increase in 2013 along with the restaurant and catering trade where sales grew at 10%. Independent retailers also accounted for a good share of sales growth with a 6.9% increase.

Commenting on the figures on the UK organic market, Ireland’s Organic Trust’s National Co-ordinator, Helen Scully said: “UK market sentiment can often be a good indicator of what’s happening here in Ireland, but more importantly, as our largest trading partner, the growth in the organic market across the Irish sea provides great export opportunities for our producers and processors. When we couple this with the phenomenal growth in organic sales on mainland Europe (up to 10% in some cases), I think that Ireland’s sector could be in a great position to capitalise in terms of exports. Of course, our ability to take advantage of these opportunities will be contingent on having a strong, well funded organic scheme in place.”