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Germany looking for organic growers

The federal government of Germany wants to increase the share of organic agriculture to around 20%. But they are still far from this goal. At the moment only around 6% of the German agriculture is organic. Because the demand for organic food keeps growing, these products have to be imported. But this makes checking it harder. Processors can't get enough raw material, which means some products can't be supplied for a while.

In Germany the market for organic food has grown out of its niche existence. In the past year the turnover of organic food increased by around 9% to around 6.6 billion Euro. But German growers don't profit much from this. "The market growth is almost completely passing the native growers by", says Gerald Herrmann, manager of the advice bureau Organic Services. Because the size of the area and the number of companies involved isn't increasing along with the demand in Germany. The area used for organic agriculture, did perhaps increase by 2.3% to around one million hectares and the number of companies by 4.8% to 23,003, but in both cases these numbers are quite low.

So other countries still have to provide organic products at the moment. The import volumes in the organic branch have been increasing in the past few years due to this. The largest suppliers of organic vegetables are Italy, Spain and Holland. Potatoes come from Egypt and Israel, milk mainly comes from Austria and Denmark and meat from Holland and Italy. Around 25% of organic potatoes that are sold in Germany are imported and of the organic apples half are not from Germany.

Publication date: 3/2/2012


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