The demand for organic meat is on the rise in the United Kingdom, according to new data from Nielsen. Sales of organic meat have increased 4.1 percent since February, as opposed to the negative trend for the same period in conventional red meat sales, down by 8.1 percent this year.
The Soil Association, the UK’s organic certification body, attributes this sudden change in sales to a scientific study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in February. The study suggested that organic meat contains up to 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced meat and lower levels of saturated fat, making it a healthier choice than conventional.
“It’s fantastic to see that sales are now starting to show sustained growth,” Lee Holdstock, a representative of the Soil Association, told Farming UK. “It is clear that people are interested in eating ‘better meat’ and organic certainly fits their demands.”
Soil Association also noted in its 2016 Organic Market Report that sellers of organic meat were opting less for supermarket distributors and more for direct sales to consumers, "nurturing a closer relationship with their customers and harnessing the power of the internet to reach new markets."
Soil Association spokesperson Emily McCoy also noted that the development of the organic meat industry in Britain extended to catering professionals. “There is (…) an increased demand for organic meat through the Food for Life Catering Mark scheme, with more catering companies progressing to a gold Catering Mark and searching for organic meat to serve in their meals for schools, hospitals, workplaces, etc.,” she told Food Navigator.
Demand for organic meat in the UK was mostly for beef and lamb, though certified organic fish also saw a good deal of growth this year, up by 25.1 percent from last year.
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Grazing cows image via Shutterstock