Organic food sales up 13.2%

THE volume of Irish organic food sales has increased year-on-year by 13.2%, according to the findings of new research released yesterday by Bord Bia.

A sales value of€124 million was recorded in the year to July 2009, compared with €104m in the year to July 2008.

The TNS research also revealed 73% of Irish grocery shoppers purchased an organic product in the last month, compared to 20% in 2003 and 45% in 2008.

Fruit, vegetables and dairy products account for the most popular purchased categories, according to the research.

Bord Bia research has also shown that the perceived health benefits of organic food, conferred through its “free from” status, are most important to Irish consumers.

A total of 73% of those surveyed said “not having added chemicals or pesticides” was the main benefit of buying organic food.

National Organic Week, co-ordinated by Bord Bia and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, takes place next week.

In its fifth year, the September 14-20 event aims to continue to raise consumer awareness of organic food, how to recognise it when shopping and where to buy it.

Producers, retailers and farmers’ markets nationwide will host over 50 events including cookery demonstrations, workshops BBQs and farm walks and in store tastings.

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