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Tesco cuts price of organic produce

Move follows slowdown in customer demand

woman choosing veg in a supermarket

Some supermarkets supply organic boxes

A major retailer has cut the price of organic produce as customer demand slows in response to the credit crunch.

Tesco said the cost of popular organic vegetable and salad lines were now at levels last seen almost a decade ago.

Organic potatoes, asparagus, avocados and peppers are selling for not much more than the price of their standard equivalents, the retailer said.

Credit crunch

A two pack of organic mixed peppers is £1.42 compared to the standard version at £1.36, two organic avocados cost £1.58 compared to the standard £1.44 and a 1.5kg packet of organic new potatoes is now selling for £1.24 compared to 75p for the standard version.

The retailer has cut organic lines by an average of 15% to 20%, it said.

Tesco said much of the price fall was due to an increase in British produce. Last year most organic produce was imported from Europe and America after widespread flooding affected the local yield.

Poor harvest

Tesco organic produce buyer Jonathan Corbett said: ‘Shoppers have told us that they want organic produce but want to pay prices closer to the standard equivalent and this is what we have done.

‘On top of shoppers’ tighter budgets, most UK retailers have increased the price of organic produce as a result of last year’s poor harvest caused by flooding across the country.

‘In fact last year’s organic harvest was the poorest in British farming history and many farmers are still counting the cost of a much lower yield.’

Falling demand

Demand for organic produce across all retailers has fallen by 8.1% over the last three months, according to retail analysts TNS.

Britain’s organic produce market is valued at £283 million a year.

In the last 12 weeks demand for organic fruit had fallen by 18%, while organic salad had dropped by 3% and vegetables were down 1%.

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