Consumer demand for organic products in South Africa is increasing slower than in Europe and in the US, but this is about to change. Local retailers are responding to the trend of more and more consumers demanding organics. Woolworths South Africa for example, as well as Pick ‘n Pay, are sourcing and displaying organic produce in their stores. 4 % of Woolworths’ fresh produce sold is organic. The retailer’s CEO stated he wants to increase organic and free-range food sales fourfould by 2012.The more recent entrant in the market, Shoprite, estimates that organic fresh produce sales could reach up to 10 % of total fresh produce sales by 2015.
The founder of Go-Organic South Africa stated that the lack of organic suppliers and the lack of supply of high-quality products were restraining growth. However, the premium, about 10 % to 15 % above conventional products, is the biggest reason why people do not buy more organic food. According to the Organic Agricultural Association of SA, there are more than 400 certified organic farms in the country, ranging from rural collectives to large-scale farming operations. Products include fruit, vegetables, dairy, chicken, wine, beef and lamb as well as a variety of processed products like olive oil, jam and dried fruit.