The Organic Trade Board (OTB) have today (January 13) announced they have won continued EU support of €10.4 (£9.46) million to promote organic food in the UK and Denmark.
The campaign will partner with Denmark, the ‘world’s leading organic nation’, to expand UK organic production to make it a bigger part of retail and help offer employment opportunities throughout the production line.
The board called for a step change in the way organic is farmed in the UK following reports consumers were increasingly starting to understand its health, taste and environmental benefits.
It hopes to increase organic production to meet global growing demand over the next three years.
OTB chief executive Paul Moore said the organic market in the UK was in a ‘clear growth phase’ but was continuing to lag behind its EU counterparts.
“We produce world beating organic food that is loved by more and more consumers,” he said. “But there is still much more we can do – we need to increase availability of organic products and that means convincing retailers that organic should be a key part of their sales strategy.
“That is where our partnership with Denmark will be crucial as we share the insights and strategy they have pursued to get more organic on shelf in the UK.”
The growth of grocery sales of organic verses non-organic in the UK was last year placed at 5.6 per cent organic growth compared to a 0.6 per cent deduction of non-organic.
Ten years of consistent growth in Denmark has led to half of all Danes now buying organic food every week, with the sector now covering 18 per cent of the retail food sector.
Clare McDermott, business development director at Soil Association Certification, praised the campaign for its pledge to follow in Denmark’s footsteps and branded it an ‘exciting time’ for the UK.
She said: “Our research showed more and more people are worried about where their food comes from – organic has the answers and this added boost from EU funding, secured by the OTB, will help make organic an even bigger part of retail in the UK.
“This will help everyone right through the supply chain, not just the members of the OTB, but all Soil Association Certification licensees, farmers, processors, brands and businesses.”