The Soil Association’s 2017 Organic Market Report reveals that the UK organic market has grown for its fifth successive year, boosted by a 19.1% increase in organic in the foodservice sector, which is now worth £76.6 million. There has been a 66% increase in sales of organic through the Food for Life Catering Mark.

The total UK organic market is now worth £2.09 billion. Sales of organic products increased by 7.1% in 2016 while non-organic sales continued to decline. Organic represents around 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market.

Key foodservice trends identified by the Soil Association 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.

• Over one third of UK schools serve Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark Silver or Gold meals, a percentage of which includes organic.

• 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 Jamie’s Italian, McDonalds, Nando’s, Chester Zoo and Eden Project.

Rich Watts, senior Catering Mark manager at Soil Association Certification said; “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.”