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Statistics on organic agriculture


Helga Willer
(Dr. rer. nat.)

Department of Extension, Training and Communication
Ackerstrasse 113
CH-5070 Frick

Phone +41 (0)62 865-7207
Fax +41 (0)62 865-7273

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Media release February 11, 2014

Growing Organic Agriculture Sector Explores its Future - Global Organic Statistics 2014 and Organic 3.0

Organic 3.0 – the future of organic – is on the agenda at BIOFACH 2014. 1.9 million certified organic farmers in 164 countries on 37.5 million hectares and a global market for organic food of 63.8 billion US dollars is what the organic movement achieved up to the year 2012. The global trend remains positive, but the ambitions of the organic movement go far beyond the present uptake.

(Bonn/Frick/Nürnberg February 11, 2014) The positive trend of the past remains unbroken: Consumer demand increases (with 10 % market growth in the world’s largest organic market, the US), more farmers cultivate organically (+5%) and more land is organically certified (+0.5%) (end of 2012) as shown in the 2014 edition of the FiBL-IFOAM study "The World of Organic Agriculture".

Organic 1.0 is the foundation laid by organic pioneers of various backgrounds. The past decades (Organic 2.0) have seen organic agriculture develop impressively. However, global food production is far away from being sustainable: Poverty, social injustice and hunger prevail in many rural areas. Farmers – despite 2014 being the UN year of family farming - are disempowered. And agriculture contributes significantly to climate change and loss of biodiversity on the planet. Hence, the launch of Organic 3.0 – with the purpose of strategy building and innovation towards a more positive impact - at BIOFACH 2014 is well timed.

Organic 3.0 that is: Sustainable use of natural resources rather than exploitation! Focus the strategy on impact rather than on perfection! And full transparency of the value chain rather than green washing! "The holistic nature of organic is an opportunity to address global challenges", says Markus Arbenz, the Executive Director of IFOAM. "The movement is looking into numerous issues such as nutrition and human health, soil and water conservation, free access to seeds, land ownership, animal welfare, and it will lobby for true cost accounting and against perverse subsidies. And we need to secure supply to the market that drives our development."

Global Statistics 2014: The market, the producers, and the area

The market research company Organic Monitor estimates the global market for organic products in 2012 reached almost 64 billion US dollars (ca. 50 billion euros). The leading market is the United States with 22.6 billion euros, followed by Germany (7 billion euros) and France (4 billion euros). The countries with the highest per capita spending were Switzerland (189 euros) and Denmark (159 euros).

Moving from consumers to producers, according to the FiBL-IFOAM survey, approximately 80 percent of a global total of 1.9 million organic producers (up from 1.8 million) are located in developing countries. As in previous years, the countries with the most producers are India (600’000), Uganda (189’610), Mexico (169’707), and Tanzania (148’610).

From a farmland perspective, a total of 37.5 million hectares were organic at the end of 2012. An increase of almost 200’000 hectares was reported compared with 2011. In Africa, organic land increased by seven percent and in Europe by six percent.

One third of all global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (32 percent; 12.2 million hectares), followed by Europe (30 percent; 11.2 million hectares), and Latin America (18 percent; 6.8 million hectares). Australia is the country with the largest organic agricultural area (12 million hectares, with 97 percent of that area used as grazing), followed by Argentina (3.6 million hectares) and the United States of America (2.2 million hectares). The countries with the largest share of organic agricultural land of all farmland are the Falkland Islands (36.3 percent), followed by Liechtenstein (29.6 percent) and Austria (19.7 percent) and further European countries. In ten countries more than ten percent of agricultural land is organic.

The most significant expansion in organic area as well as solid market growth noted in recent years has been in Europe. More information is available from a recently published study by the European Union Group of IFOAM, FiBL and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (CIHEAM-IAMB) that shows the potential for further growth in Europe based on a supportive public policy environment and increasing consumer demand.

More information


  • Statistics: Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Helga Willer, Ackerstrasse, 5070 Frick, Switzerland, Tel. +41 (0)79 2180626, Fax +41 (0)62 8657273, helga.willer(at)fibl.org; www.fibl.org  
  • Organic 3.0: International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Markus Arbenz, Charles-de-Gaulle-Strasse 5, 53113 Bonn,  Germany, Tel. +49 (0)160 8041557, Fax +49 (0)228 9265099, m.arbenz(at)ifoam.org ; www.ifoam.org  


Media release including graphs (811 KB)
Media release including graphs (632 KB)


Global Yearbook "The World of Organic Agriculture"

Pick up your copy at BioFach in Hall 1, Stands 1-543 and 1-647

  • About "The World of Organic Agriculture"
    The study contains reports, authored by experts, on the organic sector and emerging trends in all regions and selected countries. The statistics are supported with graphs and tables. In addition, background information on issues such as standards and legislation is provided.
    Further information is available at www.organic-world.net.
  • Supporters
    Support for this work is granted by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and by NürnbergMesse.
  • Quote
    Helga Willer and Julia Lernoud (Eds.) (2014): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2014. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn
  • Order book and download
    The printed version (25 euros + postage; IFOAM members 12.50 euros) can be ordered at www.fibl.org/en/shop-en.html , order number 1636 and www.ifoam.org

European study: Organic in Europe. Prospects and Developments

  • About
    This new publication contains an overview of EU farming and food policy, case studies on support mechanisms, the latest growth trends in European organic food and agriculture and country reports on sector development from over 30 European countries. The publication is an initiative of the IFOAM EU Mind the CAP campaign that is co-financed by the European Union, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • Presentation
    The book will be presented at BIOFACH in Nuremberg on February 14, 2014 at the workshop Mind the CAP: Policy opportunities and organic market development in Europe from 10:00-10:45 – Room: Riga (NCC East)
  • Quote
    Meredith Stephen and Helga Willer (Eds.) (2014): Organic in Europe. Prospects and Developments. IFOAM EU, Brussels
  • Order book
    The printed version (30 euros + postage; IFOAM EU members 15 euros) can be ordered at www.fibl.org/en/shop-en.html , order number 1634 (1635 for German version) and shop.ifoam.org/bookstore