Abel & Cole managing director Duncan Gibson has left the organic food home shopping retailer.

Gibson has been replaced by Abel & Cole’s former executive chairman Stephen Richards, who is now chief executive. Gibson left to pursue personal ventures.

Gibson’s departure comes as there are fears the organic sector is suffering in the recession. Last month, a Food Standards Agency study found that organic food was no healthier than other produce.

An Abel & Cole spokeswoman told The Independent: “Trading has been difficult, but is picking up. The FSA report is an incomplete picture, so although it is not helpful it is by no means indicative of the future of the organic market.”