Sales of organic products in the UK were up 2.8% in 2013, the first rise since 2008 and boosted by a strong surge in demand for organic textiles.

According to the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2014, the UK’s organic sector saw sales increase 2.8% to GBP1.7bn in 2013, with brands sporting the Soil Association logo reporting a 5% sales rise.

Meanwhile, organic sales for the first four weeks of 2014 had risen by 2.5%, the organisation added.

Online sales led the surge, with retailer Ocado reporting a sales increase of 10.4%, while independent retailers recorded a 6.9% increase, and supermarkets a rise of 1.2%.

Meanwhile, the turnover of the 73 holders of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) rose 36% in 2013, the Soil Association said.

Much of this growth was export-led, it explained, but the UK market for organic cotton was estimated to have risen by about 10% over the year.