Sales of organic food and drink plummeted 12.9% last year as cost-conscious shoppers turned their backs organic products with higher price points.
For supermarkets sales of organic goods fell 12.2% while home delivery of organic fruit and vegetable boxes slumped 9.8%.
According to the Organic Market Report 2010 overall organic sales fell from a record high of £2.1bn in 2008 to £1.84bn last year.
Despite high profile campaigns by chefs such as Jamie Oliver and High Fearnley-Whittingstall over animal welfare sales of expensive organic meat fell as consumers tightened their belts during the recession.
Policy director of the Soil Association Peter Melchett said: “It has been a tough year for the organic market, but we have the businesses that are most committed to communicating the many real benefits of organic food and farming to the public perform best.”
Among the supermarkets organic sales at Waitrose faired best, slipping just 3.5% but it predicts organic sales to rise between 3% and 5% this year. Tesco has also said sales of organic vegetables have started to increase.