Organic’s popularity is higher than ever!
“This is the fastest-growing agricultural sector in the world today” – this was the message of BIOFACH 2019, the international organic trade fair, which was organized with yet again a record number of exhibitors. In addition to the number of participants, the latest statistics also show that the organic sector is growing year by year. And even if numbers are often considered as dry facts, it’s worth paying attention to the senstaional growth, as it signals a significant agricultural economy potential.
The latest statistical publication of the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) includes up to 2017 organic agricultural data of the past 20 years, from 180 countries.
The most significant numbers are summarized below.
• The global market for organic food reached 97 billion US dollars. The leading countries are the United States, Germany, France and China.
• 2.9 million organic producers were reported, which is 5 percent more than in 2016. India continues to be the country with the highest number of producers, followed by Uganda, and Mexico.
• A total of 69.8 million hectares were organically managed, representing a growth of 20 percent over 2016
• The countries with the largest organic share of their total farmland are Liechtenstein (37.9 percent), Samoa (37.6 percent), and Austria (24 percent).
• The organic market continues to grow, it increased by almost 11 percent and reached 37.3 billion euros.
• 14.6 million hectares were organic. It is 1 million hectares more were reported compared with 2016. The largest organic areas are in Spain, Italy and France.
• There were almost 400’000 organic producers in Europe, and the largest numbers were in Turkey and Italy.
Although organic agriculture faces a number of challenges to develop further, facts above show that there is a growing demand for sustainable food products from reliable sources worldwide.
Europe also represents a significant part of this growth. Highlighting Hungary, we can see significant growth in recent years. In order to catch up with the European average, it is important to raise awareness about the importance of the organic sector and to help organic farmers to also reach a wider domestic audience.
More articles on this topic and the full statistical publication can be downloaded from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)‘s website: