The 24th edition of "The World of Organic Agriculture", published by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International, offers a comprehensive review of recent developments in global organic agriculture. It presents detailed statistics on organic farming that relate to area under organic management, land use and crops, the number of farms and other operator types, retail sales and international trade data.

The book includes contributions from representatives of the organic sector from around the world about the global market for organic food, organic imports, regulations, policies and Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). It offers insights into current and emerging trends in organic agriculture in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania and reports on several countries: Australia, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, the United States and Ukraine.

Organic agriculture is practised in 191 countries, and more than 76 million hectares of agricultural land are managed organically by at least 3.7 million farmers. Global sales of organic food and drink reached almost 125 billion euros in 2021.

“The World of Organic Agriculture 2023” reveals that  in 2021, organic retail sales grew by 4 billion euros and reached almost 125 billion euros. Organic farmland grew to a global total of 76.4 million hectares. 

Organic farmland and retail sales both continued to show growth worldwide, according to data from 191 countries (data as of the end of 2021 it shows the trend of overall growth seen in past years continued into 2021, although at a slower pace.

The global organic market shows that the trend of overall growth seen in past years continued into 2021, although at a slower pace. Reduced incomes and increasing prices for many consumer goods caused some population groups to reduce their spending on organic products.

In 2021, the organic market reached almost 125 billion euros – an increase of nearly 4 billion euros, or approximately 3 percent compared to 2022 and thus slower than in 2020 when market growth was in the double digits.

With 48.6 billion euros, the United States continued to be the world’s leading market, followed by Germany (15.9 billion euros) and France (12.7 billion euros). Swiss consumers spent the most on organic food (425 euros per capita on average), and Denmark continued to have the highest organic market share, with 13 percent of its total food market.

3.7 million organic producers worldwide

In 2021, 3.7 million organic producers were reported, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to 2020. India remained the country with the most organic producers (1.6 million). The majority of small-scale producers are certified in groups based on an internal control system.

Steady increase of organic farmland

A bit more than 76.4 million hectares were organically managed at the end of 2021, representing a growth of 1.7 percent or 1.3 million hectares compared to 2020. Australia had the largest organic agricultural area (35.7 million hectares), followed by Argentina (4.1 million hectares) and France (2.8 million hectares).

Organic farmland area increased in Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, while it decreased in the Americas. A bit less than half of the global organic agricultural land was in Oceania (35.9 million hectares). Europe had the second largest area (17.8 million hectares), followed by Latin America (9.9 million hectares).

Ten percent or more of farmland was organic in 20 countries

In 2021, 1.6 percent of farmland around the world was organic. However, many countries have far higher shares: Liechtenstein had the largest organic share of total farmland (40.2 percent), followed by Samoa (29.1 percent) and Austria (26.5 percent). In 20 countries, 10 percent or more of all agricultural land was organic.

Still, momentum for the organic sector continued to build around the world. Many countries kept up or initiated support activities for organic agriculture, including new action plans or policies aiming to foster growth. This positive trend was mirrored in the increase in fully implemented national regulatory frameworks for organic, which went up to a total of 74 globally.

Ente che ha curato la pubblicazione
Helga Willer, Bernhard Schlatter and Jan Trávníček