“Organic figures 2020”: the Italian organic farming data (IT)


A great challenge for all of Europe: this is the "Farm to Fork" strategy, the heart of the new Green Deal, "green path" to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. The goal for organic farming is to cover, at least, 25% of the UAA. A context where Italy is not only already doing its part, but where the reputation of our country for the quality of the products and the seriousness of the controls is already very high at European level, as the data relating to our organic sector in 2019 show.

The data processed by SINAB (National Information System on Organic Agriculture) for the year 2019 demonstrate the health of the Italian organic sector: since 2010 the number of operators has grown by 69%, while the hectares of cultivated organic surface have increased by 79%. Organic surface in 2019 in 2019 reached almost 2 million, with an increase of almost 2% of the UAA compared to 2018: 35,000 hectares more in 12 months: a growth not only in terms of surfaces but also of subjects involved in the sector, which rose to 80,643 units, an increase of 2% over the previous year. The incidence of the Italian organic land reached 15.8% of the national UAA, and this places Italy by far above the EU average, which in 2018 stood at 7.5%.

As for overall Italian agriculture, the surfaces compositional level remains stable and defined by the 3 production orientations which account for over 60% of the total: meadows and pasture land (551,074 ha), forage crops (396,748 ha) and cereals (330,284 ha). Categories followed, by extension, by the organic surfaces invested in Olive (242.708 ha) and in Vineyards (109.423 ha).

Among the arable land, which increased by just over 12,000 hectares, crops on the rise are organic durum wheat (6%),  Barley (3%) and Rice (12%); Sunflower (26%) and Soy (15%); Alfalfa (8%); Tomatoes (21%) and Legumes (13%). Among the permanent crops, Olives and Vines, citrus fruit surfaces. The increases recorded by Apples and Pears are also interesting.

As for operators, the Regions with their highest number are Sicily (10,596 units), Calabria (10,576 units) and Puglia (9,380 units). New Regions are entering the organic sector with interesting increases: this is the case of the Marche (+ 32%), Veneto (+ 13%), Lazio (+ 8%) and Umbria (+ 6%). And if Umbria confirmed in 2019 a growth that had already started in 2018 (+ 8%), Regions such as Emilia-Romagna (+ 2%), Lombardy (+ 3%) and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano (+4 %) confirm the positive trend they had recorded in 2018.

The positive evolution of the sector is also confirmed by the data on the internal organic market; according to ISMEA estimates, purchases of certified products increased by + 4.4% over the last year, exceeding 3.3 billion euros (Ho.re.ca and Green Public Procurement not included) and increasing the overall incidence of organic products on the shopping cart of Italians at 4%.

The emergency situation, combined with a phenomenon already evident for some years, confirms the push that the large-scale distribution is giving to the organic market showing, during the lockdown, an increase in sales in supermarkets of + 11%.

Italians continue to reward organic fresh products (fruit + 2.1% and vegetables + 7.2%) and in some specific categories, which have long been the sector flagship (eg eggs + 9.7%). During the Covid-19 lockdown, all the ingredients necessary for the homemade pasta or pizza production were sold out (organic flours + 92%, base and pizzas + 63%).

With regard to imports of organic products from third countries, in 2019 there was an overall increase of 13.1% in total quantities compared to 2018. Cereals, industrial crops and fresh and dried fruit are the most imported categories of organic products , with an incidence of 30.2%, 19.5% and 17.0% respectively. This growth is attributable to the substantial positive trend due to the increase in the volume imported for the category of industrial crops (+ 35.2%), cereals (16.9%) and for the category that includes coffee, cocoa, sugars, tea and spices.


Source: Sinab