Understanding the market for organic food

Stewart Lockie, Darron Halpin, David Pearson

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


    By 2002, the international market in organic foods and beverages was estimated to be worthUS$23 billion (Sahota 2004). This brought the market share of certified organic food in the developed countries where it is predominantly consumed to somewhere between 1% and 2%of total food sales (Sligh and Christman 2003). According to critics, this small percentage proves organics to be little more than an overhyped Western food fad (see Lockie 2006). Yet with ongoing sales growth in developed countries of between 8% and 20%, organic foods have attracted the interest of a growing number of farmers, food processing firms, retailers and governments (Burch et al. 2001). Along with fair trade goods, organics has become one of the fastest growing sectors of a global food market characterised more generally by oversupply and falling terms of trade (McCoy and Parlevliet 2000, Raynolds 2000, Sligh and Christman 2003).Indeed, it has been estimated that the international market in organic foods could reachUS$100 billion as early as 2006 (McCoy and Parlevliet 2000) with the organic sector in the United States of America (USA) alone worth over US$30 billion by 2007 (Haumann 2004).From an insignificant niche market as recently as the mid-1990s (Sahota 2004), organics has leapt into the mainstream
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOrganic Agriculture: A Global Perspective
    EditorsP Kristiansen, A Taji, J Reganold
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherCSIRO Publishing
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9780643090903
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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