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Organic industry takes positive stock for 2021

by Michael Stahl (comments: 0)

A woman shops organic groceries in a supermarket
Symbol picture © Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock

This year, Biofach will not take place before July. However, the balance conference, which regularly kicks off the organic trade fair, already took place this Tuesday.

After the online edition in 2021, the organizers of Biofach/Vivaness want to offer their visitors organic food and natural cosmetics to feel, smell and taste again this year. Suitable for new Biofach date in July, the organizers think about presenting "outdoor elements", in order to offer a summer feeling to the participants, said fair chief Danila Brunner on Tuesday.

Brunner and her team are currently working on the Summer Edition of Biofach/Vivaness at which they expect about 2,500 exhibitors. However, the traditional balance conference on the international and German organic market was already held in advance of the fair.

Organic on course for growth worldwide

From a global perspective, organic is still on the rise. The latest figures on this, presented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL) together with IFOAM Organics International, are from 2020. At that time, the global organic market was worth more than 120 billion Euros, 14 billion Euros more than in 2019. According to FIBL and IFOAM, it was the highest growth to date.

In terms of sales, the U.S. was the largest organic market in 2020, worth nearly 50 billion Euros, followed by Germany with about 15 billion Euros and France with 12.7 billion Euros. The global agricultural area under organic management amounted to 1.6 per cent. It increased by 4.1 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year. The Danes had the highest share of organic products in food retail overall at 13 per cent. The Swiss spent the most on organic products, averaging 418 Euros in 2020.

COVID-19 has led to a significant increase in demand for organic products in many countries: "The impact of the pandemic is evident in retail data. As people increasingly ate at home and health, the environment and climate change became important issues, organic retail sales increased rapidly. At the same time, however, sales in the food service sector fell in many countries," says Helga Willer, who is responsible for publishing the statistical yearbook at FiBL.

Renewed growth in global organic agricultural area

Nearly 75 million hectares of agricultural land were farmed organically at the end of 2020. This was 4.1 per cent, or nearly three million, more than in 2019. Australia continued to be the country with the largest organic area (35.7 million hectares), followed by Argentina (4.5 million hectares) and Uruguay (2.7 million hectares). Organic farmland has increased in all continents. Half of the global organic agricultural area was in Oceania (35.9 million hectares), followed by Europe (17.1 million hectares) and Latin America (9.9 million hectares). In 18 countries, the share of organic land is at least 10 per cent.

In 2020, 1.6 per cent of the world's agricultural land was managed organically. Numerous countries, however, had much higher shares. The countries with the highest organic share were Liechtenstein (41.6 per cent), Austria (26.5 per cent) and Estonia (22.4 per cent). In 2020, there were also 3.4 million organic producers* worldwide. The number increased by 7.6 per cent compared to 2019. The country with the most organic producers was India (1.6 million).

Positive development in Germany

Overall, organic sectos is also continuing to develop positively in Germany. Compared to the previous year, the share of organically farmed agricultural land rose to 10.8 per cent in 2021, Diana Schaack of the German Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) reported. According to the report, 64 per cent of all organic land is farmed following the guidelines of organic farming associations. The German cultivation associations Bioland, Demeter and Naturland announced area increases between seven and ten per cent.

The fact that organic is becoming more and more popular is also shown by a look at sales of organically produced food. In 2021, it rose by 5.8 per cent to 15.87 billion Euros. The best-selling products in 2021 were plant-based drinks in particular. Organic drinks accounted for 62.4 per cent of the total market, meat substitutes for 26.6 per cent, eggs for just under 17 per cent and flour for over 15 per cent. Despite a sharp rise in demand for organic meat, it accounted for only two per cent of the total meat market last year. Overall, the organic share of the German food market increased to a preliminary 6.8 per cent. Despite current high inflation and raw material shortages, prices for most products hardly increased last year. However, that will probably change in 2022, according to Schaack.


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