Irish supermarket operator Superquinn is responding to soaring demand for organic food by diversifying into organic production itself.

The company is concerned that local supplies of organic food are insufficient to keep its shelves stocked, and so has set aside a 140 acre holding in Ballyboughal in the north of County Dublin.

Superquinn sells more than 200 different organic food lines, but said that the supply of these products had been difficult to guarantee. Deputy chairman Eamonn Quinn said the decision had been taken in an effort to safeguard consistent supplies at a reasonable price, reported the Irish Times.

It is hoped that the new farm will produce certain food items that are currently imported, for example cauliflower.