Organic meat and poultry sales rise in UK

By Arabella Mileham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wales Lamb Poultry

Sales of organic lamb and poultry have risen in Great Britain, according to the Soil Association (SA), the UK body responsible for organic certification.

However, the SA’s annual market report said that increasing numbers of British farmers were marketing organically-raised lamb as non-organic, because of the high price of conventional lamb. Organically-raised beef is also being sold to finishers through the conventional non-organic system.

Research from the SA showed that demand for organic turkey in the UK was up 56%, with organic lamb sales up 16%, and organic chicken up 2.5%, and beef holding its position. This came despite a decrease in the overall organic market in the UK, which fell by 3.7%, which the SA said was largely a result of under-investment by the large multiple retailers, as well as consumer confidence in the tough economic climate.

Demand for organic Scotch beef remained strong over the year, despite a fall in organically farmed land in Scotland. The amount of Welsh lamb sold on the market as organic also rose by 26%, with organic beef up 44% from 2010, according to the Organic Centre Wales producer survey. However, farmers’ confidence in organic seems to be waning in the principality as a result of the narrowing margin commanded by organic produce, and uncertainty over the new agri-environmental schemes. England, however, saw an increase in land converted to organic pasture for beef and lamb, with organic beef cattle numbers rising 13% and lamb up 5%.

The report added that the UK organic market was bucking a global trend, which has seen overall organic sales increase internationally by 8% in 2010.

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