SHOPPERS are being encouraged to make Christmas a time to splash out on organic food and drink.

Organic sector watchdog the Soil Association has organised an online collective marketplace to bring together organic farmers and growers on a single website for festive consumers. Featuring organic products including turkeys, veg boxes, food and drink, together with a range of Christmas essentials, it aims to help shoppers find and buy all they need for an organic Christmas.

Following the success of the 'Organic September' campaign, which saw the organic market grow by 7.1% in the 30 days of the month, up from an average of 4.2% to date in 2017, the Organic Collective marketplace will give all Soil Association Certification licensees a platform to showcase their products and continue to fuel the organic market at a key time of year.

SA will be running an online advertising campaign alongside the Organic Trade Board’s 'Feed Your Happy' campaign which will lead shoppers to the site.

The association's head of farming Liz Bowles said: “As shoppers continue to prioritise their nutrition and food traceability, and with the organic market forecast to exceed £2.2 billion in sales by the year end, there’s no better time to celebrate organic than Christmas.

"As well as helping consumers find everything they need to be inspired about organic on the Christmas hub, we are also encouraging them to visit their local independent organic retailer, try a box scheme or visit a Farm Shop. For farmers, this is chance to connect with new customers and showcase their products."

Ms Bowles stressed that there was now clear evidence that organic fruit, vegetables, meat and milk are nutritionally different from their non-organic counterparts, with organic fruit and vegetables containing up to 60% higher levels of key antioxidants.

"Research for the European Parliament has also found that organic food can reduce risk of developing allergies and adult obesity," she noted. "All of this is good news, both for customers and for producers.”

For more information about the Organic Collective Christmas marketplace, including how to get products listed online, contact Niamh Noone at