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Organic food sales top £1bn

Dairy and fresh produce are biggest sellers

Organic food sales in the UK exceeded £1 billion in the past year, new figures show.

The amount spent on pesticide-free goods sold in shops rose by 9.3 per cent.

Dairy goods and fresh produce were the biggest sellers, according to market analysts TNS Worldpanel.

Milk and meat

Milk made up 19 per cent of total organic growth, while sales of organic meat, fish and poultry increased 11.5 per cent.

Alcohol is also doing well, with sales of organic varieties up 13.6 per cent to £24 million.

In the last year more than 20 million British households bought organic products with 1.6 million doing so for the first time.

TNS Worldpanel spokesman William Marks told trade magazine The Grocer: ‘Upmarket households continue to dominate the consumer profile of organic buyers, accounting for two-thirds of all purchasing.’

Shoppers in London and the South East are the biggest fans of organic produce, accounting for 43 per cent of all sales.

Short supply

But a shortage of British supply may be slowing the overall growth rate of organic sales and lead to more imported produce, according to The Grocer magazine.

Organic still only makes up around 0.7 per cent of the total British food and drink market.

Total organic sales were £1.028 billion in the year to March 25, 2007.

But the sales growth rate slowed to nearly half that of the previous year – possibly due to limited supplies, The Grocer said.

The TNS Worldpanel data comes from an ongoing survey of the take-home purchasing habits of 20,000 British households.

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