The growth of this sector is twice the rate of the general grocery market, the organisation said. Total sales in organic food have increased by 10 per cent in the past 12 months.
However, figures in the association's latest report, Organic Food and Farming Report 2004, suggest that the proportion of organic food sold through supermarkets has declined as shoppers switch to direct sources, such as farmers' markets. Soil Association director Patrick Holden said: 'The organic market is thriving and is being driven by consumers whole want to buy fresh local, good-quality seasonal food directly from the farmer. The leading supermarkets must take note of the public's wishes and increase the amount of locally sourced organic food in store, which should come from small and medium sized farms.'