Balance 2018: Germany's organic area increases by 8%
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According to estimates, the share of German organic land increased by 109,863 hectares (plus 8%) to around 1.5 mn hectares last year. What else has happened in the German organic sector in 2018 was announced last week by the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW, Federation of Ecological Food Industries) at its annual press conference at Biofach in Nuremberg.
Good sales development continues
As the BÖLW reports, according to calculations by the 'Arbeitskreis Biomarkt' the increase in turnover with organic food and drinks was around 5.5% in 2018 and thus a total market volume of 10.91 bn euros, compared with 10.34 bn euros in 2017. The total turnover of the organic sector is distributed as follows:
- 2.93 bn euros (incl. non-food: 3.46 bn euros) in the organic specialized food trade with a market share of around 27%
- 6.43 bn euros in food retailing with a sales increase of around 8.6% and a market share of around 59%
- 1.55 bn euros in other businesses with a market share of 14%
Decrease in small farms in spite of increasing organic cultivation area
"In 2018, almost five farmers converted their farms to organic farming every day," says Peter Röhrig, Managing Director of the BÖLW. This corresponds to 1,727 farms that started organic farming last year. At the turn of the year, according to BÖLW, almost 12% of the farms were organic farms, a total of 31,122 agricultural businesses were organic. Despite the numerous entries and changes to organic farming and the growing organic area, the number of farms fell again by about 3,100 to 266,690 (comparison: in 2017 the number of farms fell by about 7,600 to 267,800 farms) in 2018.
Demand to the German federal government
BÖLW-Chairman Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein appealed to the Federal Government to act decisively now in order to consolidate the organic dynamics: "In order for even more companies to take advantage of the organic opportunity, so that nature, the environment and businesses can benefit and the Germany can achieve its environmental and climate goals, the agricultural and economic policy measures must be coherently and consistently coordinated.
The Common European Agricultural Policy (CAP) is of decisive importance for organic production, the BÖLW-Chairman continued. The CAP must be gradually restructured in such a way that farmers are paid for services that society needs from them and for which the market does not pay farmers. To this end, 70 % of taxpayers' money would in future have to be paid to farmers who voluntarily do more for the environment, climate and biodiversity.
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