The Irish market for organic produce saw a record 17.7% growth in 2020, which represented €235m in total sales, Bord Bia data shows.

This growth was "simply driven by COVID-19", sheepmeat and livestock sector manager at Bord Bia Seamus McMenamin said.

In terms of organic imports, Ireland is over 95% self-sufficient in eggs, lamb, beef, dairy and seafood.

Both organic eggs and organic lamb account for 98% of the domestic supply share.

Fruit and vegetables have the most potential for growth, according to McMenamin.

In 2020, Ireland was just 30% self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables.

Growth potential

"The biggest category in terms of where there is growth potential in the Irish market is in fruit and veg.

"The main issue there is the seasonality and supply and the scale of produce to fulfil that.

"In terms of overall production, we are fairly well maxed out, the domestic market is currently meeting demand, so any growth will have to come from further demand and any extra production, we will therefore have to create a market for it,” McMenamin said.

Trends in Irish retail sales showed that almost €221m was spent by Irish consumers on organic produce in 2021. This was 2.7% higher than that of 2020.

"In terms of value to the sector it was an extra €6m made on retail sales in 2021 on the previous year.

"These figures are for the end of October 2021 and we update these figures every October," McMenamin explained.

According to Bord Bia, the increased volume of people buying organic produce drove overall growth in retail sales, as opposed to the increase in price of organic produce.

Younger shoppers

Younger shoppers are leading sales growth in organic sales, McMenamin said.

Bord Bia has broken down consumers into seven different categories, including pre-family, young family, middle family, 45+ family, older dependants, empty nesters and retired.

The report outlined that pre-family, young family and middle family consumers all contributed to growth in organic sales - the other categories are not as likely to buy organic.


In a survey conducted by Bord Bia, some 94% of consumers said they were aware of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance logo. However, this awareness was not so high for the Organic Trust logo or the Irish Organic Association logo.

Just 35% and 34% respectively of consumers said they were aware of what those two logos stood for.

Meanwhile, 69% of consumers said that the Bord Bia Quality Assurance logo influenced them to buy the product.

Lastly, 50% of all consumers surveyed said they were very or fairly likely to spend 10% more for organic food while 70% of 25- to 30-year-olds said they would spend 5% more on organic food.