UK: Organic sales increase in the north of England, the north-south divide is closed
Reports from northern branches of the superstore chain Asda are showing a distinct increase in demand for organically produced food, and dispelling the elitism that seemed intrinsically linked to the organic image.While several years ago sales of organic produce were limited in the north of England, a spokesman for the store said that recent figures proved that "There is no longer a north-south divide. More and more people are enjoying organic food and awareness of its availability has spread."The north-west is proving the second highest organics selling region in the UK, clocking up 16.38% of sales, which compares favourably with the south-east's leading 18.3%. Asda managers from Moss Side, Manchester's poorer area, calculated that their branch actually sells more organic produce than the Asda in Roehampton, South London.With demand for organic produce increasing by 300% since the beginning of 2000, Asda has announced the new arrival of 155 new lines to its stores, with the chain investing £1m in its organic range.Coming so soon after the chairman of the government's food agency, Sir John Krebs, told BBC viewers that no evidence existed to prove that organic produce was healthier, Asda's director of produce, Peter Pritchard, explained that the increased sales "prove that the produce is finally shaking off its elitist image." The assumption of a north-south divide in demand can now be put aside.
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