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Global Organic Agriculture: Continued Growth

FiBL and IFOAM present new facts and figures about organic agriculture worldwide at the BioFach World Organic Trade Fair 2009 in Nuremberg, Germany.

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) will present the latest statistics about organic agriculture worldwide at BioFach 2009. The results of the study titled ‘The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2009’ will be presented at the world’s largest trade fair for organic products on Friday, February 20th 2009, at 10 a.m. in Room Shanghai of the Messezentrum Nürnberg.

32.2 million hectares are certified according to organic standards (data as at the end of 2007). "Compared to the data of the previous survey, 1.5 million hectares more were reported”, says Helga Willer of FiBL. “At the level of the geographical regions, growth was strongest in Latin America and Africa."

"The growth in developing countries shows that organic agriculture can contribute to meaningful socio-economic and ecologically sustainable development, especially in poorer countries," notes Diane Bowen, IFOAM’s Interim Executive Director.

With its vast grazing lands, Australia continues to account for the largest certified organic surface area, 12 million hectares, followed by Argentina (2.8 million hectares), and Brazil (1.8 million hectares). The greatest share of the global organic surface area is in Oceania (37.6 percent), followed by Europe (24.1 percent) and Latin America (19.9 percent). In terms of certified land under organic management as a proportion of national agricultural area, the Alpine countries, such as Austria (13.4 percent) and Switzerland (11 percent), top the statistics. The global market for organic products reached a value of over 46 billion US Dollars in 2007, with the vast majority of products being consumed in North America and Europe, according to Organic Monitor.

"Policy makers in developing countries need to know  the number of farmers involved in organic agriculture as well as its challenges and development potential globally. This type of information is difficult to find but is crucially important to help support the sector's development. ‚The World of Organic Agriculture’ provides a unique and important global service in this regard," says Alexander Kasterine, Senior Market Development Officer at the International Trade Centre.  

The results of the study ‘The World of Organic Agriculture' are presented for the tenth consecutive year at BioFach. In addition to the chapter on organic agriculture worldwide, the book contains completely revised reports about the emerging trends in the geographical regions as well as background information on issues like standards and legislation, food security or the activities of UN organizations. The study includes comprehensive data sets and numerous illustrations and graphs. Further data are available at the newly launched www.organic-world.net homepage.

Since 2008, support has been provided by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), within the framework of its support activities for organic production in developing countries and by the International Trade Centre (ITC). NürnbergMesse has supported the performance of the global survey and production of the yearbook, carried out by IFOAM, FiBL and the German Foundation Ecology & Agriculture SÖL, since 2000.

Further information

Download media release (43.4 KB)
Download media release

Media enquiries during BioFach (February 19-22) should be directed to:

Dr. Helga Willer , Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL,  Tel. +41 (0)79 2180626


Book info

Helga Willer and Lukas Kilcher (Editors) (2009):
The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2009. IFOAM FiBL Report. IFOAM, Bonn, FiBL, Frick and ITC, Geneva. 304 pages
Printed copies (25 Euros + postage) of ‘The World of Organic Agriculture’ can be ordered from FiBL, IFOAM and ITC at shop.fibl.org, www.ifoam.org and www.intracen.org/eshop/welcome.asp. Electronic copies (20 Euros) are also available there.
ISBN IFOAM 978-3-940946-12-6; ISBN ITC 92-9137-364-8; ISBN FiBL 978-3-03736-036-4

Data sets and graphs

Graphs and data sets (Excel) are available at www.organic-world.net.
The book contains the user name and password for the internal area of the website www.organic-world.net, where additional extensive data sets are provided.