Dutch supermarkets will be forced to import increasing amounts of organic food unless domestic production is increased, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday, quoting the national retail board CBL.
‘We would rather not import organic food because bringing it from across the globe is not environment-friendly and is more expensive,’ the CBL’s Marc Jansen told the paper.
At the same time however, some 60% of Dutch production of organic food is exported abroad, mainly to Denmark, Germany and Britain.
The CBL announced on Tuesday that it expects organic food sales to rise 15% this year to a record €530m. While volumes are increasing, the shortage of some products is also helping to push up prices.
Supermarkets want sales of organic food to grow twice as fast as the food sector as a whole, the CBL says. Organic food currently accounts for some 2% of supermarket sales with eggs, vegetables, fruit and meat accounting for 63% of the total.
‘The average family now eats organic food for the equivalent of one week a year,’ Jansen told the Volkskrant.
Despite growing demand from consumers, organic farming still only accounts for 2.4% of the total, despite government targets to boost this.
The government target is for 10% of farmland to be devoted to organic production by 2010. It also wants organic products to account for 5% of all spending on food.