Organic Produce Sales Starting To See Green Shoots of Recovery

This new Press Release from Tesco dated July 15 contains some very good news:

“UK demand for organic produce is starting to rise again giving growers hope that the recession hit market may be on the way to recovery.

After the credit crunch hit last year organic purchases were among the first food items to be ditched as people sought to save money on their weekly shop.

The downturn prompted efficiencies across the industry which have encouraged sales through lower prices and offers such as £1 and half price deals.

Tesco has seen – since the beginning of the year – encouraging signs that the organic produce market could soon make a full recovery, perhaps even by autumn.

Key organic sales increases include:

·           Red onions – up 88 per cent

·           Broccoli – up 32 per cent

·           Raw beetroot – up 34 per cent

·           Watermelon – up 131 per cent

·           Blueberries – up 16 per cent

·           Asparagus – up 30 per cent

·           Gala apples – up 20 per cent

·           Cherry tomatoes – up 7 per cent

Said Tesco senior organic produce buyer Andrea Mulqueen: “Since the beginning of the year we have seen demand for organic produce growing on a monthly basis with the decline reversing so much that the market could be back on track by the autumn.

“While we are not out of the forest yet there is still a lot we plan to do to woo back customers such as an Organic Produce week in a fortnight which will have many special offers.”

It’s not just Tesco that is seeing strong signs of a recovery but also major organic growers such as Organic Farm Foods based in Evesham, Worcestershire.

The company, which is the largest specialist supplier of organic fresh produce in the UK, is also confident that the sales are beginning to get back on pre-recession track.

Said Organic Farm Foods joint managing director Adam Wakely: “There are very positive signs out there of a revival and what we are seeing is definitely green shoots stuff. Last year was very bleak for organic growers and demand for us was down by five per cent which led us to make significant changes to the business. We broadened the business to pack fruit for other companies, were able to bring overheads down and subsequently make savings which allowed us to lower the price of our fruit.”


Note to editors:

Like for like volume sales of organic produce at Tesco have improved considerably since the end of last year when they were in a decline of -29 per cent.

The decline has now reversed are now just -5 per cent on like for like volume sales.

Other key organic produce sales increase since the beginning of the year are:

  • Leeks – up 11 per cent
  • Swede – up 40 per cent
  • Cucumber – up 12 per cent
  • Watercress – up 35 per cent
  • Limes – up 120 per cent
  • Pineapple – up 500 per cent