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Global organic area: Continued growth

Thirty-seven million hectares of agricultural land worldwide are farmed organically. The countries with the largest area of organic agricultural land are Australia, Argentina and the USA. Organic land area increased by two million hectares, or six percent, worldwide.

(Frick/Bonn/Nuremberg, February 15, 2011) These figures are from the 12th edition of The World of Organic Agriculture and are based on 2009 data. This comprehensive standard reference book includes organic agriculture statistics from 160 countries and will be made public at BioFach in Nuremberg the World Organic Trade Fair. FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) and IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) will present the newest facts and figures about organic agriculture on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 10 am, Room St. Petersburg.

The largest growth of organic area is in Europe

The largest increase of organic agricultural land was in Europe, where the area increased by one million hectares or twelve percent.

The greatest share of the global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (33 %), followed by Europe (25 %) and Latin America (23 %). Australia is the country with the biggest organic agricultural area (12 million hectares), followed by Argentina (4.4 million hectares) and the USA (1.9 million hectares). The countries with the largest share of organic agricultural land are the Falkland Islands (35.7 %), followed by Liechtenstein (26.9 %) and Austria (18.5 %). Approximately 1.8 million producers farm using organic methods, the greatest portion are from developing countries.

The organic market is growing worldwide 

The market research company Organic Monitor estimated the global market for organic products in 2009 at 55 billion US dollars (40 billion euros), roughly 5 percent more than in 2008. The largest amount of organic products is sold in Europe and North America. In Europe, over 18 billion euros were spent, with Germany leading at 5.8 billion euros, followed by France (3 billion euros) and the United Kingdom (2.1 billion euros). The countries with the highest per capita spending were Denmark and Switzerland with more than 130 euros annually.

Background

The results of the study The World of Organic Agriculture are being presented for the twelfth consecutive year at BioFach. In addition to the chapter on organic agriculture worldwide, the book contains completely revised reports about the emerging trends in all regions, a number of country reports, statistics presented in graphs and tables, as well as background information on issues such as standards and legislation. Further information is available at www.organic-world.net.

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 project since 2000.

Further information

Media enquiries during BioFach (February 1619, 2011) should be directed to:

Download mediea release, graphs and tables

Download media release (79.8 KB)
Download media release

Graphs on www.organic-world.net
Table on www.organic-world.net

Contact

Reference information

Helga Willer and Lukas Kilcher (Eds.) 2011: The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2011. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn, and Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick. ISBN 978-3-940946-83-6 (IFOAM) und ISBN 978-3-03736-192-4 (FiBL). The printed version (50 euros + postage; 25 euros for IFOAM members), can be ordered on shop.fibl.org and www.ifoam.org.