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Organic Farming Statistics

Organic agriculture world-wide and in Europe

The main results of the latest survey on certified organic agriculture world-wide show (data end of 2018) show that 71.5 million hectares of agricultural land are managed organically. Growth was noted for all important indicators: Area, producers and retail sales.

  • The market research company, Ecovia Intelligence, estimates that the global market for organic food surpassed 100 billion US dollars for the first time in 2018 (almost 97 billion euros).
  • The United States is the leading market with 40.6 billion euros, followed by Germany (10.9 billion euros) and France (9.1 billion euros). In 2018, many major markets continued to show double-digit growth rates, and the French organic market grew by more than 15 percent.
  • Danish and Swiss consumers spent the most on organic food (312 euros per capita in 2018). Denmark had the highest organic market share with 11.5 percent of its total food market.
  • In 2018, 2.8 million organic producers were reported. India continues to be the country with the highest number of producers (1’149’000), followed by Uganda (210’000), and Ethiopia (204’000).
  • A total of 71.5 million hectares were organically managed at the end of 2018, representing a growth of 2.9 percent or 2 million hectares compared to 2017.
  • Australia has the largest organic agricultural area (35.7 million hectares), followed by Argentina (3.6 million hectares), and China (3.1 million hectares). Due to the large area of organic farmland in Australia, half of the global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (36.0 million hectares). Europe has the second largest area (15.6 million hectares), followed by Latin America (8 million hectares). The organic area increased in all continents compared to 2017.
  • Globally, 1.5 percent of farmland is organic. However, many countries have far higher shares. The countries with the largest organic share of their total farmland are Liechtenstein (38.5 percent), Samoa (34.5 percent), and Austria (24.7 percent). In sixteen countries, 10 percent or more of all agricultural land is organic.

Europe

The organic market in Europe continues to grow. In 2018, it increased by almost 8 percent and reached 40.7 billion euros (European Union: 37.4 billion Euros). Farmland increased by 8.7 percent

  • In Europe, 15.6 million hectares were organic in 2018 (European Union: 13.8 million hectares). With 2.2 million hectares, Spain continues to be the country with the largest organic area in Europe, followed by France (2.0 million hectares), and Italy (2.0 million hectares).
  • The organic land increased by 1.25 million hectares in Europe and by one million hectares in the European Union, representing an increase of 8.7 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. France reported over 290’000 hectares more than in 2017 and Spain reported over 160’000 hectares more.
  • Organic farmland in Europe constituted 3.1 percent of the total agricultural land and 7.7 percent in the European Union. In Europe (and globally), Liechtenstein had the highest organic share of all farmland (38.5 percent) followed by Austria, the country in the European Union with the highest organic share (24.7 percent). Ten European countries reported that at least 10 percent of their farmland is organic.
  • There were almost 420’000 organic producers in Europe (European Union: almost 330'000), and the largest numbers were in Turkey (almost 80'000) and Italy (more than 69'000). The number of producers grew by 5.4 percent in Europe (7.2 percent in the European Union) in 2018.
  • There were almost 76’000 processors in Europe and almost 71’000 in the European Union. Almost 5’800 importers were counted in Europe and more than 5‘000 in the European Union. The country with the largest number of processors was Italy (more than 20‘000), while Germany had the most importers (more than 1'700).
  • Retail sales in Europe were valued at 40.7 billion euros (37.4 billion euros in the European Union). The largest market was Germany (10.9 billion euros). The European Union represents the second largest single market for organic products in the world after the United States (40.6 billion euros).
  • The European market recorded a growth rate of 7.8 percent. Among the key markets, the highest growth was observed in France (15.4 percent). In the decade 2009-2018, the value of the European and European Union markets has more than doubled.
  • In Europe, consumers spent 50 euros on organic food per person annually (European Union: 76 euros). Per capita consumer spending on organic food has doubled in the last decade. Danish and Swiss consumers spent the most money on organic food (312 euros per capita in 2018).
  • Globally, European countries account for the highest shares of organic food sales as a percentage of their respective food markets. Denmark is the first country to surpass the ten percent mark and has the highest organic share (11.5 percent) worldwide. Individual products and product groups hold even higher shares. Organic eggs, for instance, reach around 30 percent of the value of all eggs sold in some countries.

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