UK consumers have cut their expenditure on organic foods in the past year, with sales falling 12.9% according to the Soil Association. Overall organic sales have fallen from a 2008 peak of £2.1bn to £1.84bn last year. The hardest hit food types were fruit, vegetables, meat and bread, which have the biggest price differential with their non-organic equivalents. The decline follows a report from the Food Standards Agency last year that said there were “no important differences in nutritional content, or any additional health benefits of organic food when compared with conventionally prepared food”. Organic milk bucked the trend, largely due it is thought to a ‘healthy 1% fat milk launched last. Sales of organic baby food also rose, jumping 20.9% to exceed £100m. Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, said: “It’s been a tough year for the organic market, but confidence is now returning, and we are confident that the organic market, having weathered the recession will return to growth.” The Soil Association is predicting modest growth for 2010 of between 2% and 5%.