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European organic market grows to over 33 billion euros

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Die FiBL Infografik zeigt die für 2016 erhobenen Einzelhandelsumsätze für Bio-Produkte in Europa.

The FiBL info graphic shows the retail sales of organic products in Europe, which were collected for 2016.

The European Union is the world's second largest single market for organic products after the United States.In 2016, organic retail sales in Europe rose by 11.4 percent to 33.5 billion euros, while organic sales in the EU member states significantly exceeded the 30 billion euro mark and reached 30.7 billion euros. The figures were traditionally compiled by the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) and partners and presented at the Biofach.

Double-digit growth rates in retail sales

For the second time since the financial crisis in 2008, the European market has again recorded double-digit growth. Sales figures rose by 11.4 percent in the European Union and 12 percent in 2016. Per-capita consumer spending on organic food has doubled in the last ten years: according to statistics, consumers in the European Union spend 61 euros per person per year, compared with 41 euros per year in Europe as a whole. The Swiss consume the highest per capita organic food consumption with 274 euros, followed by the Danes (227 €) and Sweden (197 €). Germany was in seventh place with 116 €.

Der französische Naturkosthandel legte in 2016 über 20 % zu.

The French organic food trade grew by more than 20% in 2016. Photo © Kai Kreuzer

France impressed with 22 percent growth

In some countries, organic market shares are approaching the ten percent mark. As an EU member state, Denmark has the highest share of organic products in the food market with 9.7 percent (status 2016), followed by Luxembourg with 8.6 percent and Switzerland (8.4 %). Individual products and product groups have very high shares in the respective overall markets. For example, organic eggs account for more than 20 percent of the value of all eggs sold in several countries.

In 2016, some European countries achieved high double-digit growth rates. France, Ireland, Denmark and Norway grew by 20 percent and more. Italy, Finland, Austria and Sweden also recorded strong growth - between 12 and 14 percent. After a number of good years in 2016, the French organic market grew very dynamically in 2016 and, with an increase of 22 percent to EUR 6.74 billion, was able to approach the top position in Germany.

Strong growth in French organic food trade

Particularly impressive in Europe's second-largest organic market is the impressive growth of 24 percent in the organic food trade, whose market share is 37 percent. Organic sales in the French supermarkets, which accounted for 45 percent of total organic sales, grew by an impressive 22.5 percent. In addition to the organic market, the French organic area also developed splendidly to 1.54 million hectares in 2016.71 percent of organic products sold came from France, according to the state-owned organic market agency AgenceBio. The neighbouring country is a good example of how production can grow in line with market growth if politicians support the entire value-added chain and customers are prepared to pay corresponding prices, writes the BÖLW in an analysis in its market report "Figures - Data - Facts".

Die Nachfrage nach Bio-Produkten steigt - die Zahl der Produzenten entwickelte sich positiv.

Demand for organic products is rising - the number of producers developed positively. Photo © Oekolandbau. de

Over 370,000 organic producers - 

In 2016, the number of producers in the EU grew by ten percent to almost 300,000 and by 7 percent in Europe to more than 370,000 organic producers. Turkey is the country with the most farms (almost 68,000). The statistics show strong growth, especially among processors and importers. There were almost 66,000 organic processors in Europe and just under 63,000 in the European Union. Almost 4,700 importers were counted in Europe and almost 4,000 in the European Union. Importers recorded particularly strong growth, with double-digit growth in both Europe and the European Union. The country with the largest number of processors was Italy (almost 17,000), while Germany had the largest number of importers (almost 1,600).

Die ökologische bewirtschaftete Fläche in Europa wächst kontinuierlich.

The ecological cultivated area in Europe is growing continuously. Photo © Oekolandbau. de

Organic farming area extended by almost one million hectares

Organic land in Europe and the European Union increased by almost one million hectares, representing an increase of 6.7 percent in Europe and 8.2 percent in the European Union. Growth was higher than in 2015 and significantly higher than in the first years of the current decade. In 2016, Italy recorded over 300,000 hectares more than in 2015 and France over 200,000 hectares more than in 2015. In 2016,13.5 million hectares of organic land were cultivated in Europe (European Union: 12.1 million hectares). With more than 2 million hectares, Spain remains the country with the largest organic area in Europe, followed by Italy (1.8 million hectares) and France (1.5 million hectares). In Europe (and worldwide), Liechtenstein has the highest proportion of organic land in terms of agricultural area, with 37.7 percent, followed by Austria, the country in the European Union with the highest proportion of organic land. Nine European countries stated that at least 10 percent of their agricultural area is managed organically. 

The survey on organic farming in Europe is carried out by FiBL and AMI. The FiBL data collection  was carried out as part of the global survey on organic farming, which is supported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the International Trade Centre (International Trade Centre ITC), NürnbergMesse and IFOAM - Organics International.

Interactive FiBL Statistics  Europe







BioFach / Vivaness

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