The Organic Trade Board (OTB) has been awarded €10.4 million by the EU to run a three year campaign to promote organic food in the UK and Denmark. Starting in January, the OTB will work with brands, processors and retailers to drive growth in the organic food and drink sector.
The OTB won the EU bid by demonstrating that the funding for the campaign will help grow retail sales of organic, increase employment in organic agriculture, and improve awareness and understanding of the benefits of organic food and drink.
In the UK, the organic market is worth £1.4 billion p.a. and accounts for 1.8% of all grocery sales and grew by 5.6% in 2016. In contrast, the nonorganic sector saw its sales contract by 0.6% in the same period.
Despite the buoyancy of the market, the UK still lags behind its European counterparts in terms of annual per capita spend on organic. Britons spend approximately €28 per person on organic food each year compared with €162 in Denmark and €97 in Germany so there is much room for growth.
The new campaign run by the OTB will seek to accelerate growth of the organic food & drink market and to build retailer value, by partnering with Denmark who are global market leaders in organic penetration and market share.
In 2015, the organic sector in Denmark grew by 11% and organic sales now account for 9% of all retail food sales. In the last six months of 2016 growth of organic reached 18%. The organic sector in Denmark is aiming to reach 25% of the retail food sector in the coming years and in some categories this has already been achieved. Organic accounts for over 30% of dairy sales in Denmark (compared with 10% in the UK).
Globally, there is growing consumer demand for organic food demonstrating significant growth opportunities for export. In 2014, the global market for organic food was $80 billion. The US is the largest single market, worth $43 billion and forecast to grow by around 15% by 2018. Nor is organic the preserve of the West, with China now the fourth largest market.
Commenting on the campaign, Paul Moore, CEO of OTB said “The organic market is in a clear growth phase in the UK. We produce world beating organic food that is loved by more and more consumers. But there’s 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’s 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.”