Global organic area reaches all-time high


Nearly 70 million hectares of farmland are organic

The year 2017 was another record year for global organic agriculture. According to the latest FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) survey on organic agriculture worldwide, organic farmland increased substantially, and the number of organic producers and organic retail sales also continued to grow, reaching an all-time high, as shown by the data from 181 countries (data as of the end 2017).

5 world top10 per capita webMarket research company Ecovia Intelligence estimates the global market for organic food reached US$97 billion (approx. 90 billion euros). The United States is the leading market with 40 billion euros, followed by Germany (10 billion euros), France (7.9 billion euros) and China (7.6 billion euros). In 2017, many major markets continued to show double-digit growth rates, and the French organic market grew by 18 per cent. The Swiss spent the most on organic food (288 euros per capita in 2017). Denmark had the highest organic market share (13.3 per cent of the total food market).

In 2017, 2.9 million organic producers were reported, which is five per cent more than in 2016. India continues to be the country with the highest number of producers (835,200), followed by Uganda (210,352), and Mexico (210,000).

A total of 69.8 million hectares (ha) were organically managed at the end of 2017, representing a growth of 20 per cent or 11.7 million ha over 2016, the largest growth ever recorded. Australia has the largest organic agricultural area (35.6 million ha), followed by Argentina (3.4 million ha), and China (3 million ha). Due to the large area increase in Australia, half of the global organic agricultural land is now in Oceania (35.9 million ha). Europe has the second largest area (21 per cent; 14.6 million ha), followed by Latin America (11.5 per cent; 8 million ha). The organic area increased in all continents.

Globally, 1.4 per cent of the farmland is organic. However, many countries have far higher shares. The countries with the largest organic share of their total farmland are Liechtenstein (37.9 per cent), Samoa (37.6 per cent) and Austria (24 per cent). In 14 countries, 10 per cent or more of all agricultural land is organic.

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