June 1, 2017


UK organic milk output up 4.4% in 2016, standard milk down 1.9%


The volume of UK organic milk increased 4.4% last year, whereas standard milk fell 1.9%, despite reducing conventional prices and increasing organic shelf premiums.


The 2017 organic milk market report, prepared by the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative, (OMSCo), attributed the increase to an organic milk recovery, as one in four UK households now purchases organic milk, which is an increase of 15%.


"Last year the organic milk category attracted one million new households-more than any other milk sector in the UK," said Richard Hampton, OMSCo managing director. "This is despite it being a private label dominated category, and therefore subject to less advertising and innovation than other growth milk segments such as dairy alternatives and filtered milk, and increasing shelf premiums as conventional prices fell".


Hampton, however, said that UK organic dairy growth was still behind other key international markets, growing at a rate of just 2.2%, compared with the US' 10% and with the European markets' significant growths, particularly Germany and France.


Globally, according to the report, organic dairy is in a period of strong growth and is one of the largest sectors within the organic food and drink market, worth $9.5 billion in a market valued at $82 billion.


"For this reason, exports have become an increasingly important market for UK organic dairy products," Hampton said, adding that over the last 10 years exports have grown from zero to 20% of UK organic milk sales. 


Hampton attributed global growth drivers to consumer demand for products with health and well-being benefits as well as a solid provenance story. "Organic dairy offers consumers a host of benefits including increased levels of omega-3", he explained.