(April 25) CHELSEA, Mass. — Distributors and retailers say Boston’s consumers are like those in the rest of the country: They’re increasingly interested in finding fresh organic produce on supermarket shelves.

Paul Kneeland, director of produce and floral for Roche Bros. Supermarkets Inc., Wellesley Hills, said his company’s organics sales increased almost 40% over the previous year’s sales.

“It’s a continuing trend, not a fad,” Kneeland said.

Roche Bros. carries about 60 organic items, but the in-store mix varies by location, he said.

Organics sales are increasing slowly for Lexington-based Wilson Farms Inc. Imports’ retail store, said Tony Casieri, produce manager and buyer. He thinks it has increased primarily because the store has added more items, not necessarily because consumers are looking for organic produce.

The percent of Wilson Farms’ produce from organic produce is very small, Casieri said.

Ken Cavallaro, treasurer of John Cerasuolo Co. Inc., said he’s noticed the trend because retailer customers are buying more organic produce, although organics sales are a small part of Cerasuolo’s business. When Cerasuolo’s customers request organic produce, the company tries to accommodate them, he said.

“There are enough customers for it,” Cavallaro said. “It’s a matter of getting the right organic programs to service them.”

Cavallaro said organic produce must be of the highest quality, because consumers who are willing to pay the premium prices for organic are very interested in getting the best items. They don’t want to pay top dollar for less-than-great produce, he said.

Organics prices are likely to come down, as more organic growers begin production and economies of scale kick in, said Charles Dolan, president of the New England division of DiMare Co., Boston. He’s also noticed the trend among retailers to request more organic produce because of consumer demand.

About 10% of DiMare’s sales are from organic produce, Dolan said.

Cerasuolo sells to independent retailers, chain stores at the retail and wholesale levels, and foodservice customers, Cavallaro said. He sees more demand for organic from retailers than from foodservice customers, he said.

Costa Fruit & Produce Co., Boston, which sells to restaurants and institutional foodservice buyers, also sees good demand for organic produce, said Manny Costa, president.

Offering organic items is one piece of the company’s efforts to be “green,” or more environmentally concerned, Costa said.

Costa Fruit heavily promotes organics through its Tasteful Integrations program, which helps chefs add organic produce to their menus throughout the year.

Costa estimated that less than 5% of the company’s sales are from organics, but he expects that to increase.

Mark DeMichaelis, president of State Garden Co. Inc., Boston, said his company’s sales of organic produce also are gaining momentum.

The private-label portion of its organic business experienced double-digit growth this year, he said. He declined to say what portion of State Garden’s total sales are from organic produce, but said it was significant.

DeMichaelis said he expects sales to continue to grow.

“Retailers are giving consumers what they want,” he said.