Research - Current projects
Study of the UK market for organic vegetables(OF 0342)
Aims:* To quantify the balance between UK demand and supply for the main organic vegetable crops and discover levels of UK market share
* To identify opportunities for UK growers
* To provide a clearer picture of the market for growers, marketers and policy makers
* To enable monitoring of progress towards national targets
Background:During the late 1990s and early 2000s the organic vegetable market in the UK was reported to be growing at an average of 30 per cent per annum. However by 2002-03 growth has begun to slow to about 20 per cent per year. The market had also started to stabilise with less peaks and troughs in supply, better relationships in the supply chain, much less speculative growing and UK self-sufficiently rose to 59 per cent. Yet competition increased and downward pressure on prices, particularly in the pre-pack sector, began. This competition encouraged continuation of rationalisation in the supply chain with both supermarkets and packers dealing with fewer growers/suppliers.
Approaches:Data on volumes and values of organic vegetables traded, and their source, is collected from organic packers and wholesalers at the end of the marketing season. Follow up telephone interviews are performed with key players in the market. Quantities marketed directly are estimated from knowledge of crop areas, typical yields and other published information. This data is then complied, collated and checked on an individual market sector and on a crop-by-crop basis. Data is then evaluated and interpreted in conjunction with sub-contractors. Conclusions are drawn and future trends and opportunities identified for UK produce.
Dissemination:Results are described and analysed in a comprehensive report produced and available from HDRA. Additionally, findings are summarised in the Soil Association
Collaborators:Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales; Elm Farm Research Centre and The Soil Association.
Project reports and papers
- The report from the UK organic vegetable market study 2002-3.
Read paper: TheUKOrganicVegetableMarket2002-03.pdf (514Kb)
- The report from the UK organic vegetable market study 2001-02
Read paper: UKOrganicVegMkt2001-02.pdf (457Kb)
- Firth C, and Schmutz U (2004) The Development and Prospects for the Organic Vegetable Market in the UK. Proceedings of the BGS/AAB/COR
conference, Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire, UK
20-22 April 2004. Organic Farming, Science and practice for profitable
livestock and cropping. Cropping Systems p3-6. Ed A Hopkins BGS
Occasional Symposium No. 37.
Read paper: 01FIRTH CD.pdf (32Kb)
- Powerpoint presentation given by Chris Firth to the Organic Open Day at Kirton (Warwick HRI), July 2005. Organic Vegetable Market and economics of production.
Read paper: CFirth_kirton05.pdf (912Kb)
- The report from the UK organic vegetable market study 2003-04.
Read paper: UKOrganicVegMarketStudy2003-04.pdf (274Kb)
- The report from the UK organic vegetable market study 2004-05
Read paper: InnerPagesTheUKOrganicVegetableMarket.pdf (734Kb)
- Final report on HDRA Member's Supermarket Watch (2004). (Associated with, but not part of, the UK Organic Vegetable Market Study).
Read paper: FinalSWatchRptCOLOURAug05.pdf (7961Kb)