Organic food consumption continues to increase in Europe

The consumption of organic food in Europe generated sales worth 33,500 million Euro in 2016; 11.4% more than in the previous year. Of this, 30,700 million Euro corresponded to the European Union (+12%), which is the second most important market after the United States. The data was published in the yearbook "The World of Organic Agriculture. Emerging statistics and trends 2018", which was presented on the opening day of the BioFach international organic fair, which takes place in the German city of Nuremberg.

The text highlights that it is the second time since the financial crisis that this market has recorded double-digit growth. The most noteworthy increase was that of France, with a 22% growth and 6,736 million Euro. Overall, the country was second only to Germany (9,478 million Euro) and remained ahead of Italy (2,644 million Euro).

Expansion in the acreage
The study, carried out by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (Ifoam) and the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL, due to its acronym in German), revealed that the European organic acreage has grown again, reaching 13.5 million hectares (+6.7%), with 12.1 million (+8.2%) corresponding to the European Union.

Spain is in the lead with more than two million hectares, followed by Italy, with 1.8 million and France, with 1.5 million. The latter two have also recorded remarkable increases of more than 300,000 hectares in the Italian case and of almost 216,000 hectares in the French case.

The share of the total acreage devoted to organic production in Europe is 2.7%, a percentage that rises to 6.7% in the EU. In Liechtenstein, this share reaches 37.7%, and in the EU, Austria is the country that leads the ranking, with 21.9%.

Organic producers and processors
The number of producers has also increased by 6.9%, with 373,240 in Europe (in the EU, the figure is close to 300,000; 10% more), with Turkey in first place (67,879), followed by Italy (64,210) and Spain (34,673).

Meanwhile, the number of organic processors has grown by 10.2% to 65,889 in Europe (62,652 in the EU). There was also a total of 4,700 importers in European territory (4,000 in the EU); with Italy (17,000) and Germany (1,600) at the top of the ranking.

As for consumption, in Europe it amounted to around 41 Euro per capita in 2016; a figure that rises to 60.5 Euro on average in the EU. Expenditure in Switzerland, which has been in the lead for years, stood at 274 Euro per capita, followed by Denmark (227 Euro) and Sweden (197 Euro).


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