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green fingers

Female, wealthy and urban: the shoppers driving Ireland's €100 million organic food sector

The organic industry in Ireland is growing again, according to Bord Bia.

IRELAND’S ORGANIC FOOD sector has bounced back after several difficult years, with annual sales valued at €99.1 million this year.

The organic industry’s sales figures grew from €97 million last year, and are closing in on the best ever year for the sector, which saw sales of €106 million in 2010.

A survey undertaken by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine showed the typical organic shopper is a female urban-dweller in the wealthier ABC social class.

The majority of consumers who buy organic said they do so to avoid chemicals and pesticides, and because organic food is perceived as being healthier for the body.

Other motivations cited by consumers include benefits for nature and the environment and a better taste.

Organics in Ireland Bord Bia Bord Bia

The survey found that 60% of Irish shoppers had bought organic food in the last six months, but 73% of consumers said that they would buy a ‘local organic’ product rather than something that is simply organic.

There are 1,721 registered organic operators in Ireland, with over 52,000 hectares of land being used to produce organic food.

Organic products are more likely to be used regularly, although 66% of shoppers said that they would be more likely to purchase organic for a special occasion such as a romantic meal at home or when giving food as a gift.

The top three factors that would encourage Irish people to spend more on organic produce were a price decrease, an increase in the range available, and an increase in the volume and variety of organic food produced in Ireland.

Do you shop organic when possible?

Poll Results:

Yes (1003)
No (771)
No opinion (116)

Read: Market traders dismiss criticism from local businesses as ‘begrudgery’>

Opinion: Want to grow your own food, but don’t have outside space?>

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