Organic food on the up
Demand for organic food is is on the up, not only in the UK but in Europe and even the US. It seems people are truly becoming more interested and aware as to the origin of their food.
In Germany demand for organic food is increasing at a vast pace and supermarkets can now not afford to stock organic produce. One source stated the increase in demand was up by 8.4% in 2014 compared to the previous year. Customers are cited as saying they want to contribute to environmental protection and swear by the taste of organic foods. Some just want to be more healthy!
In Holland their organic exported jumped 11% in 2014 with Germany being their largest customer taking 40% of their exports. State Secretary Dijksma of Economic Affairs said "Consumers want more and more products with a focus on animal welfare, nature and the environment". Hopefully this global demand will also continue to be reflected in the UK.
Closer to home it has emerged that 23% of us are buying organic milk. This is an increase from 10% in the past year. This is good news. It demonstrates that the consumer is becoming more savvy and conscious about what they are consuming. However there are hidden dangers within this increase in demand.
Firstly, as the demand for organic produce increases, the supermarkets will en-devour to drive down the cost of the produce at the farm gate. Under sustained pressure this will could end in the quality decreasing as production corners are cut and farmers once again coming under financial pressure to achieve unrealistic goals.
Secondly, and of most concern, is that official certification bodies, such as The Soil Association, may lower their standards to help satisfy an increasing demand. This would be particularly damaging, especially if this was a result of external pressure.