Growing concerns over the climate impact of food production and the Covid-19 crisis, resulted in a 12.6% growth in organic sales throughout 2020 – the highest growth rate seen in the sector in 15 years.

Figures from the Soil Association Certification’s 'Organic Market Report 2021'​ show the UK’s organic market is now worth £2.79bn, with some £50m spent each week on organic products throughout 2020.

Online and home delivery saw most of the growth with such sales rising more than 36% with online now accounting for just shy of 25% of the total sales. Almost one in four organic purchases were made via e-commerce last year.

UK Fairtrade purchases increased by 15% in the last year with almost 30% of consumers pledging to buy more Fairtrade goods in the future, according to Ethical Consumer’s recent 'Ethical Markets Report',​ produced in collaboration with Co-operative Group.

Online retailer Ocado reported a bump in demand for organic products during 2020. “We saw a marked increase in the sale of our organic food and drink products,”​ Laura Henderson, head of Buying Fresh and Frozen, revealed.

“Our new partnership with Marks and Spencer increased the number of organic products available, taking our total to more than 4000, which is considerably more than other grocery retailers,”​ she said.

Soil Associations’ Finn Cottle believes that the trend is part of a fundamental shift in the relationship people have with the food they eat.

“With more opportunities to think about choices, and more time spent cooking at home, people are appreciating food more, getting closer to nature, and choosing food that aligns with their personal health priorities,”​ she said.

“There is a much greater awareness of the links between food, farming, health and the environment. We’ve also seen a huge appetite for understanding about where our food comes from, how it is produced and the wider impact of these choices.​

“There has been a step-change in how we shop, eat and think about food – and it is here to stay,"​ she said.