Is organic food in trouble???
Without any benefits to the consumer, let's hope organic food dies a quick death...
Pity Britain’s organic farmers. According a full-page report in today’s Guardian, they’re close to going bust. Sales of organic produce have fallen 13% per cent in a year (organic vegetables, for example, are down £34.1 million). So Green and Blacks, Rachel’s and Yeo Valley are all fighting for their survival, and the firms are meeting today in London to help co-ordinate a fightback.
As Zoe Wood reports:It is a big ask for an industry which has been badly battered. The latest data from analysts TNS – which monitors sales through supermarkets – shows the market for organic food was down 13% in the year to 9 August. Sales of organic vegetables are down more than a third in the last year, and demand for fertiliser-free fruit has fallen nearly 16%. While organic milk is now the fastest growing organic foodstuff, sales were up only 2% over the last 12 months.But what has caused the demise of the organic food industry? Well, no surprises, it was the recession. Andrew Baker, the chief executive of Duchy Originals (the Prince Of Wales’s expensive food company) told the Guardian: “The organic industry hasn’t done a good enough job of informing consumers about the benefits, so it was vulnerable in recession when the choices we make are based on price.”
Aha! So the recession has forced people to make choices based on price, has it? Welcome to planet earth, Andrew. That’s what most of us have been doing our entire consumer lives. And it seems the well-off, organic brigade, are now learning how to look after the pennies too. Sure, they won’t admit at their trendy soirées that the chicken they are serving is Waitrose own-brand battery hen - but then the guests won’t able to tell it’s not organic, Normandy-raised, and corn-fed either. (I wonder, what the hell else are you supposed to feed a chicken?) We know that organic food isn’t more nutritious. And it’s also pretty obvious that it doesn’t taste any better. It’s clear, then, that the organic food industry has been quiet over consumer benefits because, besides feelings of righteous smuggery, there aren’t any.