A survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association has found that growth of the US$14bn organic market is being held back by chronic undersupply of organic products.

The survey of retailers found that 52% of respondents said they could sell more organic products if they had access to more dependable supplies.

“As demand continues to increase, especially with the entry of big players like Safeway and Wal-Mart into the organic sector, there is increasing competition among retailers to secure supplies of organic products,” a spokesperson for the Association told just-food.

Annual sales of organics in the US have risen from $6.1bn in 2000 to $13.8bn in 2005. The sector is growing by 16% each year, compared with overall growth in the food sector totalling 2-4% a year. Growing demand has resulted in shortages of organic produce and escalating prices.