At the Paris Agricultural Show, the French agency for the development and promotion of organic agriculture presented the sector’s figures for 2018. Once again, Occitania remains the first French region for its organic production, with 403,921 hectares certified organic at the end of 2017. The region in 2nd place, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, counts 232,103 hectares that are certified organic.
Occitania maintains its dominant position thanks to a regular progression of the sector. At the end of 2017, the region had 8,164 organic farmers, which was 13.1% more than in 2016. At the same time, chemical-free areas grew by 26%.
Among the 13 departments of the Occitania region, the Gers ranks first with its 1,182 organic farmers. It is followed by the Gard with 924 organic farmers. Two other departments stand out: the Tarn-et-Garonne, which saw the most conversions between 2016 and 2017 with 86 new certified organic producers, and the Hautes-Pyrénées, department with the least organic farmers but the highest progression in terms of organic farming areas (at +65% since 2016).
2018 was marked by a strong growth in consumption, besides households and retailers, by school caterers for instance. According to the agency, “This consumption reflects real changes in the eating habits of the French.”
List of organic products
The French agency for the development and promotion of organic agriculture also looked into which organic products are consumed by the French, and the results show very little changes since 2015.
1 –Organic fruits and vegetables. These products remain the most consumed and have been stable since 2015 at 78% (83% for higher income households).
2 – Dairy products (71%), including milk (44%) and cheese (43%).
3 – Organic eggs (65%).
4 – Grocery products (34% cereals, 24% oil and 25% other grocery products).
5 – Drinks, including juices (39%) and wine (19%).
6 – Meat and poultry.
7 –Organic bread. 1 in 3 people consumes organic bread.
8 – Coffee, tea, infusion/breakfast biscuits/soy-based products...According to the French agency, those products have been on a downward trend since 2016 but still occupy a decent position (from 27% to 20%).
9 - Fish, shellfish and crustaceans (13%).
10 - Food supplements (9%).
11 - Prepared/cooked dishes (7%). (Category introduced in 2018)