Sales of organic bakery products slumped last year, despite the overall market bouncing back to growth after four years of decline.

According to The Soil Association’s annual Organic Market Report, published today, organic bakery and cake sales through the multiples fell 12.1% last year, while the total market for organic food and drink grew by 2.8% to a total value £1.79bn.

Independent retailers have led the way, with growth of almost 7%, while supermarkets saw overall sales up 1.2%. Sainsbury’s - the country’s biggest organic retailer with a 29% market share - saw a 7% increase in sales of its own-label organic products, closely followed by Waitrose who saw its organic sales increase by 6.5%.

Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification, said: To see the organic market showing such strong signs of growth, particularly when grocery sales as a whole are slowing, shows just how much potential there is in the organic sector. The message to supermarkets and other retailers and organic businesses is clear: if you make organic goods available and promote them well, consumers will respond by continuing to purchase the products they have confidence in.”