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Media release February 20, 2008

Global Organic Farming: Continued Growth

IFOAM, FiBL and SÖL present new facts and figures about the organic sector at BioFach 2008

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) und the Foundation Ecology and Agriculture (SÖL) will present the latest statistics about organic agriculture worldwide at BioFach 2008. The results of this year’s study titled “The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2008” will be presented at the world’s largest trade fair for organic products on Friday February 22nd 2008 at 10:00 in Room Shanghai.

The study shows that 30.4 million hectares are currently certified according to organic standards (data as at the end of 2006). Australia continues to account for the largest certified organic surface area, with 12.3 million hectares, followed by China (2.3 million hectares), Argentina (2.2 million hectares) and the USA (1.6 million hectares). The greatest share of global organic surface area is in Oceania/Australia (42%), followed by Europe (24%) and Latin America (16%). In terms of certified land under organic management as a proportion of national agricultural area, the Alpine countries, such as Austria (13%, 361,487 hectares) and Switzerland (12%, 125,596 hectares), top the statistics. Compared to the adjusted data of the previous survey, the global organic area grew by approximately 1.8 million hectares during 2006. Growth was strongest in Oceania/Australia (more than 600,000 hectares) and Europe (more than 500,000 hectares). From the first figures available for 2007, Helga Willer of FiBL expects that the area under organic management has continued to grow.

The global market for organic products reached a value of 38.6 billion US Dollars in 2006, with the vast majority of products being consumed in North America and Europe, according to Organic Monitor. This constitutes a growth of five billion US Dollars compared to the 2005 data. Healthy growth rates are expected to continue in the coming years. Angela Caudle de Freitas, IFOAM Executive Director, suggests that the ever-growing demand for organic products offers attractive opportunities for producers – especially those in developing countries.

The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2008 is being presented for the ninth consecutive year at BioFach 2008. In addition to chapters reviewing organic agriculture worldwide, numerous illustrations and graphs, and completely revised reports about the emerging trends and regional development highlights on each individual continent, the study includes a comprehensive annex with the entire data set and expanded coverage of land-use data.

Performance of the global survey and production of the yearbook has been supported by NürnbergMesse since 2000. Starting in 2008, support is now also being provided by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), Berne/Switzerland, within the framework of its support activities for organic production in developing countries and by the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva/Switzerland, which has joined the survey as a partner. The global survey on organic farming and the publication of the yearbook have been carried out jointly by IFOAM, FiBL and SÖL since 2000.

Further information


Dr. Helga Willer, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL FiBL, Ackerstr., CH-5070 Frick, Tel. +41 (0)79 2180626, Fax +41 (0)62 865-7273

Maren Rohwedder, Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau (SÖL), Weinstraße Süd 51, D-67098 Bad Dürkheim, Germany, Tel. +49 6322 989700, Fax +49 6322 989701

Anita Deppe, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5, D-53113 Bonn, Germany, Tel. +49 228 92650-10, Fax +49 228 92650-99

Petra Trommer, NürnbergMesse, Messezentrum, D-90471 Nürnberg, Tel. +49 911 8606 8328

Book info

Helga Willer, Minou Yussefi-Menzler and Neil Sorensen (Editors) (2008):
The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2008. IFOAM, Bonn/Germany and FiBL, Frick/Switzerland. 272 pages, 25 EUR, 978-3-934055-99-5 and 978-3-03736-014-9

The Study in the FiBL-Shop (Order of printedt version or download with cost)

Graphs and Pictures

Graphs and pictures are available via www.organic-world.net.

Download press release (45.6 KB)