Just back from Biofach with a few taste treats from generous exhibitors.
My twelve hour train journey home allowed me to read through most of this year’s ‘World of Organic Agriculture’, the nineteenth edition of the most authoritative source of statistics and commentary on the state of organic farming. Here’s ten highlights from this year’s edition (all percentile changes refer to 2015-6).
- · 15% increase in global organic certified land (though an estimated 2/3 of this is due to better data collection). (In ten years certified organic land has almost doubled).
- · 13% increase in number of organic producers worldwide (again, some of this is due to better data collection). (In ten years the number of organic producers has grown by 120%).
- Organic food now has more than a 5% share in seven countries, including among the 'usual suspects, the Nordic and Alpine countries) the USA!
- · 8% growth in organic land in Europe and a 10% growth in the organic market. In Ireland, France, Denmark and Norway the organic market grew by 20% or more
- · 15 countries now have more than 10% of their land certified as organic, including Austria, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland , the Czech Republic, Finland and Uruguay
- · More than 25% of temperate fruits grown in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Montenegro are organic.
- · More than 10% of the grapes grown in Italy, Austria, Bulgaria and Spain are organic
- · More than 25% of French olives and almost 20% of those from Italy are organic.
- · There’s almost one million ha of organically managed coffee in the world (8.5% of the world’s total)
- · An estimated 33% of the world’s coffee, 25% of the world’s chocolate, 16% of its tea and 10% of its cotton are grown under various sustainability labels, including organic (NB figures are estimates that allow for possible ‘double-certification’).
All of which begs the question: is organic still a niche?