Germany: big rise in the number of farms and the area of organic land
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The number of organic farms rose 2,119 to a total of 26,855. As BÖLW explains, last year's growth of 5.7% was increased to 8.6%. “In 2016 about five farmers a day converted to organic, and almost every tenth farm in Germany is now an organic farm,” commented Peter Röhrig, the managing director of BÖLW at a press conference prior to the launch of BioFach.
For comparison: the total number of farms in Germany fell in 2016 by roughly 4,800 (1.7 %) – which is about 13 farms a day. “The stronger commitment to organic farming in many federal states and stable prices for organic producers in times of crisis ensured that a large number of farmers took advantage of the opportunity presented by organic farming,” Röhrig explained.
The area of organically managed land also increased significantly - by 96,000 to 1,185,471 hectares, which is a gain of 8.9 %. According to BÖLW, the growth of the land area on farms in associations grew by53,001 hectares (7.1 %) to a record level (2015: 3.2%).
In total, almost 800,000 hectares (67.1 %) of organic land in Germany are cultivated by farms in associations – more than half (52 %) of all organic farmers belong to an organic association. However, new EU organic land contributed as a percentage more to the boost in growth: this land area grew by 12.6% (43,632 ha). All the figures relating to the area of organically managed land are for the moment estimates of the association.