A slowing growth rate for organics in the UK has led to speculation that the quality of organic may have led to it developing a “high-brow” image that does not appeal to the average consumer.
The BFA cites research forecasts that predict strong ongoing growth for the organic sector, enhanced market penetration and increased recognition and acceptance by consumers.
“In Australia, we have always been very focused on preserving the integrity of organics while removing the mystery,” says BFA Director Dr. Andrew Monk.
“The spread of people that consume organic in Australia is broad. Independent research commissioned by BFA in 2009 showed that over 30% of organic consumers have an income below $40,000 demonstrating that organic is not adopted by only higher socio-economic groups. The appeal of organics has shifted to customers more representative of mainstream households, with young children and active lifestyles - all consumers who demand a right to fresh, healthy and naturally produced food.
“Over half of Australian shoppers - six in every ten - now buy organic at least occasionally, and the availability of organic produce in a diverse range of retail outlets has grown. There are now even organic options in service station stopovers – once the preserve of greasy take-aways!”
While the higher price of some organic goods is often cited as a deterrent to shoppers, Dr. Monk says that as organic items become more accessible from outlets ranging from farmers markets to major supermarkets, consumers will have more price options available to them.
“An ‘exclusive’ sector does not serve the interests of either the industry or the consumer,” Dr. Monk says, adding that price is not the only purchase decision factor for Australian organic shoppers.
“Choosing organic, for many consumers, is not only about money - it’s about understanding and appreciating inherent value. Organic food represents a healthy lifestyle and environmentally-friendly food production, without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified ingredients, a focus on animal welfare and other values that more people, regardless of their socio-economic status, are taking an interest in and are willing to support.
“People are prioritising differently and spending their money differently from how they have in the past. What we hope to continue to see in Australia is an increasing willingness to pay for the sustainable production costs of good food. Then the environment, our farmers, and consumers all benefit.
“The organic industry in Australia is only just beginning to find its legs, and there is a very promising road ahead.”
Dr Andrew Monk Ph: 0429 960 044
Jan Nary 07 3350 5716 ext 275
Madeline Cooper 07 3350 5716 ext 225
2010 Ibis World, Industries to Fly and Fall in 2010, www.ibisworld.com.au/pressrelease/pressrelease.aspx?prid=212
2010 BFA, Massive Growth Spurt Predicted for Organics http://www.bfa.com.au/_files/100113_Ibis%20World%20Statistics.pdf
2008 BFA, Australian Organic Market Report, www.bfa.com.au/index.asp?Sec_ID=259
Recent organic press releases:
21-01-10 2010; International Year of Biodiversity - Biodiversity and Biological Farming; A Natural Partnership
13-01-10 Massive Growth Spurt Predicted For Organics
17-12-09 Organic Crusader protects against unscrupulous organic labelling
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