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As current inflation figures force consumers to reconsider their priorities, organic food sales have fallen for the first time in a decade. According to new research from Nielsen, after ten years of steady growth, sales fell 2.1% year-on-year.

However, analysts said there is “still a long-term trend for sustainability”, which, coupled with long-awaited government support for nature-friendly farming, should continue to encourage farmers to maintain or convert to sustainable agriculture.

The majority of organic food (77%) is purchased by a dedicated core consumer (17% of the population), but these so-called “intensive shoppers” are also starting to cut back on what they buy organic.

Nielsen Business Analytics Manager Mike Watkins said, “There is always a long-term trend towards sustainability. And buyers need to recognize the value of organic in the face of nature and climate crises. People understand the term energy crisis; they need to understand that there is also a food security crisis and that we need to change the way we farm to mitigate climate and nature decline.

While organic farming is the biggest certification that guarantees sustainable farming, there is also a huge wave of farmer-led interest in so-called “regenerative farming”. This method has allowed farmers to reduce the cost and use of fertilizers and animal feed by replacing them with natural plant fertility and relying more on soil health.

Source: wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk

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