Organic farming advocates have called for a "radical rethink" of the sector to help food producers reap the benefits of a growing UK market.

Soil Association Certification has published its 2024 Organic Market Report, which reveals the sector has delivered its 12th consecutive year of growth, despite global political and economic turmoil, and the cost-of-living crisis.

The report says the total market grew 2pc in 2023, ending the year at £3.2bn – almost double its value in 2011.

But while shoppers are spending more money organic food, the amount of organic farmland in the UK has remained static at around 3pc – illustrating the market's heavy reliance on imports.

Soil Association Certification commercial director Alex Cullen said this means UK farms - and the environment - are missing out on the potential benefits of organic agriculture.

"The market and macro trends are pointing to an upward trajectory but there are still many challenges and barriers to the level of growth that UK organic should be delivering for farmers – with price the biggest barrier," he said.

“We need a radical rethink if organic is going to reach its full potential and bring organic farming into the mainstream. The entire supply chain must work together to grow the market and unlock demand for homegrown UK organic fresh produce, supported by the government.

“And we can learn valuable lessons from Europe where there is greater support and commitment from governments and retailers for farmers and from some exciting innovations taking place right here across the UK – to make organic more available and affordable."

Norfolk farmer Joe Rolfe is managing director of specialist organic root vegetable business RBOrganic, which is part of Burgess Farms group and based at Houghton, near Fakenham.

He said: “The organic market in 2022 was tough due to inflation and the cost of living crisis but in 2023 organic sales returned to a more positive trajectory and are heading in the right direction.

“Organic growers need to be rewarded with fair prices and supported by effective environmental schemes that balance environmental outcomes with food production.

"When you look at places like Denmark and Germany, growers are supported in a more proactive manner by government."