The biennial Australian Organic Market Report released in November 2014 reveals key categories are driving exceptional growth results, with new categories adding to the 15%+ growth in the Aud$1.72 billion industry since 2009.
Australian Organic, Australia’s largest certifier said that the report demonstrates consumption of certified organic food, cosmetics and household products is at a record high in the country. Recognition of the Australian Certified Organic logo has increased to 38%.
“Availability of organics in major supermarkets and new independent organic retailers is in part responsible for this growth; however an extremely strong export market is supporting existing farmers and producers as well as encouraging new entrants into the organic arena,” Australian Organic said.
Key findings across industry sectors driving growth:
*Dairy is the fastest growing organic category in 2014, estimated to be worth $113m.
* With compound growth of 127% (2011–2014), beef is the second fastest growing sector with a total value of $198m in 2014
* Wine grape production increased by a staggering 120% between 2011 and 2014 and is worth $117m
* The organic grain category has grown by 20% with total crop values lifting by 67% in three years
* In organic cosmetics, there was 18% annual growth of organic cosmetics 2009–14 with skincare (35.4%) and haircare (33.7%) showing the greatest rise.
“One of the most significant findings was that 69% of primary food shoppers in Australia claim to have bought at least one certified organic product in the past 12 months,” said Dr Andrew Monk, Australian Organic chairman.
And 49% of respondents claimed that they first purchased certified organics due to awareness of the impact food, fibre and cosmetics may have on their health, while 16% began buying organic specifically because of a health crisis, Dr Monk added.
The report has also revealed the perceived benefits of organic are consistently associated with what organic food does not contain and is not produced with, led by: chemical free (80%), additive free (77%), environmentally friendly (68%), hormone and antibiotic free (meat) (60%), non-GMO and free range (each 57%).
In non-alcoholic beverages, organic coffee saw the most dynamic retail value sales growth of 15% to reach $10m in 2013.
One-third of shoppers say they would only buy a product labelled as ‘organic’ if it is certified as such.
There has been a 53% increase in fully certified organic land area between 2011 and 2014.
Australian organic production (farm-gate) value is $508m, up 18% since 2012, while exports of organic products have more than doubled between 2012 and 2014 to $350m.