Food for thought

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The Independent Online

After salmonella in eggs, mad cow disease and the foot and mouth epidemic, it is no wonder that Britain has one of the fastest-growing markets for organic produce in Europe. But we also have some of the highest supermarket prices for organic food. In almost any sphere of activity, higher volume brings lower prices. And at the farm-gate, this is true. Small producers - the majority of organic farmers in this country - have seen their margins squeezed to the point where many make a loss. Prices, though, remain stubbornly high. It is hard to escape the conclusion that this is another area where British consumers are being ripped off.

After salmonella in eggs, mad cow disease and the foot and mouth epidemic, it is no wonder that Britain has one of the fastest-growing markets for organic produce in Europe. But we also have some of the highest supermarket prices for organic food. In almost any sphere of activity, higher volume brings lower prices. And at the farm-gate, this is true. Small producers - the majority of organic farmers in this country - have seen their margins squeezed to the point where many make a loss. Prices, though, remain stubbornly high. It is hard to escape the conclusion that this is another area where British consumers are being ripped off.

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