“The World of Organic Agriculture 2019": nearly 70 million hectares of farmland are organic (IT)


The latest global data on organic farming worldwide have been presented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM – Organics International at BIOFACH. The statistical yearbook "The World of Organic Agriculture" is full of news about the status of organic farming worldwide.

The year 2017 was another record year for global organic agriculture: the organic farmland increased substantially, and the number of organic producers and organic retail sales also continued to grow, reaching another all-time high, as shown by the data from 181 countries (data as of the end 2017). The 20th edition of the study shows a continuation of the positive trend seen in the past years. The global organic market continues to grow and has reached 97 billion US dollars.

The market research company ‘Ecovia Intelligence’ estimates that the global market for organic food reached 97 billion US dollars in 2017 (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 percent. The Swiss spent the most on organic food (288 Euros per capita in 2017). Denmark had the highest organic market share (13.3 percent of the total food market).

Almost three million producers worldwide

In 2017, 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 (835,200), followed by Uganda (210,352), and Mexico (210,000). Record growth of the organic farmland: 20% increase. A total of 69.8 million hectares were organically managed at the end of 2017, representing a growth of 20 percent or 11.7 million hectares over 2016, the largest growth ever recorded. Australia has the largest organic agricultural area (35.6 million hectares), followed by Argentina (3.4 million hectares), and China (3 million hectares). Due to the large area increase in Australia, half of the global organic agricultural land is now in Oceania (35.9 million hectares). Europe has the second largest area (21 percent; 14.6 million hectares), followed by Latin America (11.5 percent; 8 million hectares). The organic area increased in all continents.

Ten percent or more of the farmland is organic in 14 countries

Globally, 1.4% 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%), Samoa (37.6 %), and Austria (24%). In fourteen countries, 10%or more of all agricultural land is organic.

Global organic statistics show the contribution of organic agriculture to the Sustainable Development Goals. According to Dr. Monica Rubiolo from SECO (Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs) and Joseph Wozniak from ITC (International Trade Center) "global data on organic production and markets are of high relevance for policy makers and contribute to understanding the importance of organic farming in the different countries". "This publication shows our ongoing engagement with transparency in the organic sector" say Professor Urs Niggli, FiBL director, and Louise Luttikholt, IFOAM – Organics International Executive Director. And they add "This publication also demonstrates the contribution of organic agriculture to the Sustainable Development Goals. Overall, the yearbook shows the potential organic farming has to contribute to a sustainable future!"

The printed version of "The World of Organic Agriculture" (30 Euros + postage; affiliates of IFOAM – Organics International: 20 Euros) can be ordered and downloaded at the FiBL shop .

A detailed report with tables con be downloaded HERE

Source: FIBL