Organic food is gaining ground in France but at a relatively slow rate according to the findings of a survey by the Institut CSA.

Nine out of ten of the sample population expressed a positive opinion of organic food and believe that the way it is produced contributes to the preservation of the environment. Almost all of the sample recognised that “organic” signifies “non-GM” while just over half said they shared the values which organic farming stood for. Forty-four percent thought that eating organic food improved health and a third thought it had a better taste.

However, the figures are far less convincing when it comes to actually buying organic produce.

The survey highlights that only 47% of the sample bought organic food once a month compared to 37% in 2003. The percentage falls to 25% for those who made a weekly purchase.

In 2005, there were still 37% of the French population who had never consumed organic produce even though this does compare to 50% two years earlier.

Price remains an important brake on the development of organic food, the survey revealed, but 42% of the sample were prepared to pay extra for it and up to 11% more.

Fruit and vegetables are by far the most popular organic foods in France followed by eggs, butter and yoghurts.