15 April 1999
Supermarkets to boost organic business
MORE opportunities for British organic farmers were presented this week, with retailers Tesco and Marks and Spencer both determined to increase the volume of organic produce they sell.
Tesco says it is doubling the organic lines it offers. From next week it will sell up to 350 organic products in selected stores, with a range of at least 50 items in all 600 outlets. Currently the retailer offers 180 lines sold in just 50 of its stores.
Andy Sellick, Tesco organic project manager, said the firm was actively looking for UK suppliers to meet increased customer demand. “We want those farmers who are in a position to convert to consider organic farming as a serious marketing option.
“At the moment Tesco does not have enough farmers to meet customer demand. We will be talking to producers in the months ahead about how together we could meet these new marketing opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Marks and Spencer has announced a £1 million summer farm show campaign to woo organic producers.
Chris Gilbert-Wood, M&S head of livestock and agriculture, said: “The clear message we have is that consumers want this and that there is an opportunity for farmers and growers.”
The firm will use the nine summer shows which it is involved in sponsoring this year, including the Royal Highland and Royal Welsh, to talk to farmers across the country.