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Austria: Organic sales rise to 713 million euros

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

With an organic area share of 26 percent, Austria is far above the European average. © Ekaterina_Pokrovsky / Shutterstock

Sales of fresh organic food in Austria rose by 23 per cent in 2020, while the volume sold increased by 17 per cent. This was reported by the Austrian Agricultural Market Agency AMA. Organic fresh food thus reached a share of ten per cent of the total fresh food market. In comparison: Germany's organic share of the total food market is 6.4 per cent.

Only three percent organic deniers

"There is actually no household in Austria that does not buy an organic product at least once a year," writes the AMA in its analysis. The buyer reach is extremely high at 97 per cent, it says. On average, each Austrian bought a fresh organic product 42 times a year and spent a total of 190 euros on it. This added up to organic sales in 2020 of 713 million euros. Fresh milk and natural yogurt have the highest shares of sales with over 25 per cent, followed by eggs and potatoes. The shares for meat and sausage are the lowest at 5.5 and 3.3 per cent; similar to Germany but at a higher level.

Organic becomes more important

In November 2020, AMA surveyed consumers about their motivation to buy organic food. The most important results: "Sustainability and organic production are becoming more important. Around one third states in the study that these two criteria will be even more decisive when purchasing in the future. Three out of four would still like to reach for organic after the Corona pandemic, 14 per cent would like to buy even more."

No new entrants until 2023

While the market is growing, the number of Austrian organic farmers is stagnating. "This is due to the fact that since the end of 2018, no new entries into organic subsidies have been possible, and since the end of 2019, no transfers from other subsidy measures have been possible either," explained the Bio Austria association.

Entry into organic support is only possible again with the new period of the Common European Agricultural Policy in 2023, it said. "In practice, this means that the number of farms and the area will stagnate," the association complains. As a result, Austrian farmers would lose market share. Currently, 24,457 organic farms in Austria manage 677,216 hectares of land. This corresponds to a share of over 26 per cent of the total agricultural area and just under 23 per cent of all farms.




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