Some useful facts about the UK food and drinks industry show that demand for ethical and artisan produced food is very strong:
The UK’s food and drink industry* contributes around £26 billion to the UK economy, with 3-4% year-on-year growth. There are more than 8,500 food and drinks producers employing around 450,000 people meeting the growing demand for craft and artisan food and drink products. It is unlikely that this growth is going to slow significantly in the immediate future.
Sales in ethical and artisan produced food and drink, including organic, fair-trade, free range and freedom foods rose to £8.4 billion in 2013, representing 8.5% of all household food sales. Sales of this type of produce have increased year on year since 2007, despite the economic downturn.
Fairtrade and organic products contribute 15% (£1.6 bn) and 13% (£1.3 bn) respectively, of the total ethical food sector.
In a 2014 Food and You survey, food safety in imported products, in particular meat from outside the UK, caused the most concern, with 67% of survey respondents expressed concern about imported meat, whereas only 27% were concerned about food produced in the UK
* All data provided by Defra National Statistics 2015