On 21st of February, The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report was launched and it revealed a staggering 19.1% increase in organic in the food service sector. This growth has amounted to a whopping worth of £76.6 million and the total UK organic market is now worth £2.09 billion.
Key trends highlighted in the report include:
Over £15 million was spent on organic through Food for Life Catering Mark holders in schools, hospitals, nurseries, workplaces and universities. This is an increase of 66% since last year.
A greater number of wholesalers are offering organic – there is nearly a quarter more wholesalers licensed to sell organic than the previous year.
High street restaurant chains and visitor attractions are including more organic products on their menus, including McDonalds and Nando’s.
Rich Watts, senior Catering Mark manager at Soil Association Certification said; “Organic is increasingly seen as a shortcut to healthy lifestyle choices and there are clear opportunities for food providers as more and more people seek out organic choices. Soil Association research reveals that organic ticks many boxes for customers, including eating better food, knowing where your food comes from, and avoiding pesticides or antibiotics.
“The catering sector is leading the way in driving up the standards of food served outside of the home and responding to the demand for better food. Organic is part of this and the spend on organic through the Food for Life Catering Mark is hugely encouraging. We are supporting caterers and foodservice by improving links throughout the supply chain through the Catering Mark Supplier Scheme, and there are clear opportunities for all involved as more people search out British, local and organic produce.”
So what does this mean for catering companies in Ireland? If the spend in Organic has increased in the UK, surely the market in Ireland would have followed closely. Sourcing produce locally is something we would like to bring to the table but we aren’t sure if this is a necessity.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.