The constant high demand for organic vegetables helps German organic vegetable growers. Although over two-thirds of organic vegetables are still imported from abroad, the proportion of organically produced goods from Germany and Lower Saxony is steadily increasing, according to the Competence Center Ökolandbau Niedersachsen (KÖN) in its current market report.
From 2016 to 2017, Lower Saxony's share of German organic vegetables increased from 12.6 to 13.4 percent. Organic vegetables are cultivated on 1,846 hectares in Lower Saxony - a good 300 hectares more than in the year before. Carrot, cabbage, onion and beetroot are grown on half of the organic acreage.
The Lower Saxony organic vegetable growers were able to increase their turnover from 27 to 30 million euros in 2017, responding to the demand for organic household purchases with an increase of 276,000 tons (t) to 294,800 tons of vegetables. According to the Competence Center, 1,793 companies out of a total of 36,500 companies in Lower Saxony operated organically in 2017. This is 147 operations or 1 percent more than last year. The average operating area of the organic farms increased in 2017 by almost three hectares to 55.8 ha. The total eco-area in Lower Saxony comprises almost 100,000 ha, an increase of 13,000 ha.
Despite this growth in acreage, Lower Saxony, with its almost five percent of organic farms, is below the national average of 8.2 percent in the development of organic farming. This is one of the reasons why acreage, quantity and price trends for organic vegetables and organic potatoes are among the many topics on the agenda of the third expert forum on vegetables and potatoes at the KÖN in Visselhövede on 6 November. For Lower Saxony's organic potato farmers, the turnover shrank to 21 million euros in 2017, having been 28 million euros in 2016. The organic potato farmers were not involved in the general trend of 'more organic shopping', although they also their acreage increased by more than 150 ha to 2,389 ha, increasing the share of organic potatoes from 25.8 to 27.1 percent in German organic production.
For more information: www.oeko-komp.de/