Organic is moving swiftly from niche markets to the mainstream
Policy-makers are failing to keep up with consumer demand for organic produce
Consumer demand for organic food is increasing globally and is worth in excess of €75bn, with all the main markets growing in double digits.
Just last week Sweden released figures showing that demand for organic food increased by more than 40pc in 2016, and this is an important market for Irish organic product.
Worldwide more farmers cultivate organically and consequently the land area certified has also risen to over 50 million hectares. However, despite all of the evidence to the contrary organic is seen by some as a niche market.
Organic products of all kinds can now be found in most kitchens and households around the country indicating just how mainstream organic has become.
Numerous studies have been conducted globally on the buying habits and demographics of consumers of organic food with a few key themes emerging.
Consumers like organically produced food because of their concerns regarding health, the environment and animal welfare, and their purchasing habits confirm a willingness to pay the price premiums established in the marketplace.
While there are obvious differences in shopping patterns across the globe the "entry categories" to organics are the same, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and eggs dominate all the major markets.
In the United States $15.6bn (€13bn) worth of fruit and vegetables were sold in 2016, constituting over 40pc of the entire sales of organic food.