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Tesco organic fruit sales climb by 18%

| International retailers

Tesco has revealed that sales of its organic fruit grew by more than 18% in the last year.

The most popular organic fruit items were soft fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with demand up 34% year-on-year.

Bananas sales rose by 27% while citrus fruit items saw an increase of 17%. Organic apples, pears and mangos were also popular.

Tesco fruit commercial manager Gareth Wilcock said: “We strongly believe that great quality, organic produce should be an affordable option for families.

“The revival of organic foods has been gathering pace over the last few years, with keener prices and better availability both playing a major part in that.

“We have been working hard to get quality, organic produce into stores as quickly as possible, to provide extra days of freshness for customers. Smaller snacking pack sizes for several key organic berry fruit lines, has also helped with portion control and cutting down on potential food waste.”

Tesco’s main UK organic fruit supplier is Organic Farm Foods which supplies fruit such as apples, pears, grapes, watermelons, kiwi and mango.

Organic Farm Foods managing director Adam Wakeley said: “Traditionally the two biggest challenges for organic produce have been price and availability and we have been working closely with Tesco and our growers around the world to improve availability as we move between seasons.”

During the economic downturn, organic purchases were among the first food items to be ditched as people sought to save money on their weekly shop.

As a result, The Organic Trade Board, a non-profit organisation of more than 120 food producers and retailers, including Tesco, was formed in 2008 to promote the benefits of organic food.

Paul Moore, chair of Organic Trade Board, said: "We are delighted to see Tesco enjoying growth in organic fruit sales. Nearly two thirds of organic consumers have entered the market since 2009 and are young, highly motivated and engaged with food.

“Our research shows motivation around health and the environment underpins the interest in organic foods with over 45% of existing consumers expecting to buy more organic in the next 12 months."

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