In its annual report the Soil Association put UK sales of organic products at £1.73bn, a drop of 5.9 per cent. However it points out that the rate of decline is falling: last year the drop was almost 13 per cent.
Amongst the categories that are still growing are baby food, which was up 10 per cent, and beef, up 18 per cent.
Finn Cottle dispels the myth that organics always cost more than conventional produce, and explains that greater communication is crucial to reinvigorating the market – not least because organic is challenged on shelves by many other ethical labels, such as fair trade and animal welfare.
She sees greater availability of organics in supermarkets and independent stores as important, and points out that other European countries, like France, Italy and Germany, governments are more supportive of organic than in the UK – in some cases specifying the proportion of organics that should be on shelves.