Homepage » Media » Archive media releases » Archive 2012 » Media release

Statistics on organic agriculture


Helga Willer
(Dr. rer. nat.)

Department of Extension, Training and Communication
Group lead Dissemination & Outreach
Group lead Data & Digitalisation
Ackerstrasse 113
CH-5070 Frick

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

The World of Organic Agriculture 2012

The 2012 edition of The World of Organic Agriculture.

Order in FiBL-Shop

Further information at www.organic-world.net


Please bear in mind that we do not update material once it has been archived.

You may find that items contain information which has since gone out of date.

You may also find that links are broken, or link to content which has since been changed.

My newsletter account


Note on data protection: By submitting the data entered, you accept FiBL's privacy policy. Your data will be stored only for the purpose for which it was collected and for as long as it is necessary to complete the service. For further information on data protection, please see our privacy policy.

 Unsubscribe / Change your account information

Media release February 14, 2012

Organic agriculture worldwide: Market growing, agricultural land remains steady

FiBL and IFOAM are presenting the latest data on organic agriculture worldwide at BioFach in Nuremburg.

(Frick/Bonn/Nuremberg, February 14, 2012) Thirty-seven million hectares of agricultural land worldwide are farmed organically. The global market for organic food is estimated at 44.5 billion euros. It grew by approximately eight percent in 2010.

These figures are from the 12th edition of “The World of Organic Agriculture” and are based on 2010 data. This comprehensive standard reference book includes organic agriculture statistics from 160 countries and will be released at BioFach, the World Organic Trade Fair in Nuremberg. The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) will present the newest facts and figures (data per end of 2010) about organic agriculture on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2 pm, Room St. Petersburg.

Largest growth of organic area is in Europe

The largest growth of organic agricultural land was in Europe, where the area increased by 0.8 million hectares and is now at 10 million hectares (+9 percent compared with 2009). In Asia, organic farmland decreased. Overall, however, global organic agricultural land has not changed compared with the 2009 data. The organic arable and permanent crop area increased worldwide by approximately six percent. Those crops are of particular relevance for the organic market. For arable crops, cereals are the most important crop group (2.5 million hectares). Oilseeds cover 0.5 million hectares, and protein crops and vegetables 0.3 million hectares each. The key permanent crops (almost 3 million hectares) in terms of land under organic management are coffee (0.7 million hectares), olives (0.5 million hectares) and cocoa (0.3 million hectares).

One third of the global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (33 %), followed by Europe (27 %) and Latin America (23 %). Australia is the country with the biggest organic agricultural area (12 million hectares), followed by Argentina (4.2 million hectares) and the USA (1.9 million hectares). The countries with the largest share of organic agricultural land of all farmland are the Falkland Islands (36 %), followed by Liechtenstein (27 %) and Austria (20 %).

Globally 1.6 million producers farm using organic methods, and approximately 80 percent of these are in developing countries. As in previous years, the countries with the most producers are India, Uganda, Mexico and Ethiopia.
The organic market is growing worldwide

The market research company Organic Monitor estimated the global market for organic products in 2010 at 59.1 billion US dollars (44.5 billion euros). Compared with 2009, the market increased by roughly eight percent in Europe and the United States. The leading market is the United States with 20.2 billion euros. In Europe, where 19.6 billion euros were spent, Germany leads at 6 billion euros, followed by France (3.4 billion euros) and the United Kingdom (2 billion euros). The countries with the highest annual per capita spending were Switzerland and Denmark with more than 140 euros.

According to FiBL, these figures show that in countries where organic agriculture is institutionally well embedded, there is a constant growth of the market and of the area under organic management. This is impressively shown in the case of Europe, where many countries provide a wide range of support measures like direct payments, advisory services, relevant research and marketing measures. In countries where organic agriculture is not yet fully integrated into national agricultural policies, und farmers receive less support through advice and research, the ups and downs of the organic area can be substantial.


The data on organic agriculture worldwide are being presented for the thirteenth consecutive year at BioFach. The book contains reports by long-standing experts on the organic sector about the emerging trends in all regions and selected countries. The statistics are presented in 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.

Support for this work is granted by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) within the framework of its support activities for organic production in developing countries, by the International Trade Centre (ITC), and by NürnbergMesse.

Further information


  • Dr. Helga Willer, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ackerstr., 5070 Frick, Switzerland
  • Markus Arbenz, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), 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



About the book

  • Helga Willer and Lukas Kilcher (Eds.) 2012: The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2012. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn
  • The printed version (50 euros + postage; IFOAM members 25 euros) can be ordered at www.fibl.org/en/shop-en.html and www.ifoam.org.


Media release (120.1 KB)
Media release
Graphs (206.7 KB)
Graphs (4.1 MB)

Further information is available at www.organic-world.net and www.organic-world.net/yearbook-2012.html.