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Organic market continues to grow - in Europe and worldwide

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At the vegetable shelf
Symbol picture © Shutterstock/Maksym_Povozniuk

In 2017, the European and international organic sector again recorded strong area and market growth. In Europe alone, organic sales grew by around 11%. FiBL presented these and other figures together with its partners, the Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) and IFOAM Organics International, at Biofach in Nuremberg.

Organic figures Europe

European organic agricultural area

In 2017, 14.6 mn hectares were organically farmed in Europe (EU: 12.8 mn hectares). The total organic area in Europe increased by around one mn hectares, respectively 0.8 mn hectares in the EU. This corresponds to an increase of 7.6% in Europe and 6.4% in the EU. Organic land accounts for 2.9% of total agricultural land in Europe and 7.2% in the EU.


FiBL survey 2017
© FiBL survey 2017


European countries with the largest organic area:

  • Spain: 2.1 mn hectares
  • Italy: 1.9 mn hectares
  • France: 1.7 mn hectares

European countries with the highest proportion of organic land used for agriculture:

  • Liechtenstein: 37.9%
  • Austria: 24%


Production and processing

Number of producers:

  • Europe: 390,000 (7% growth)
  • EU: 300,000 (4% growth)

Number of processors:

  • Europe: 71,000
  • EU: 68,000

Number of importers:

  • Europe: 5,300
  • EU: 4,600


Sales development

According to the FiBL report, the European market recorded growth of almost 11% in 2017, the third double-digit increase since the financial crisis. Within Europe, the EU is the second largest domestic market for organic products following the United States.


FiBL survey 2017
© FiBL survey 2017


Retail sales:

  • Europe: 37.3 bn euros (USA: 40 billion euros)
  • EU: 34.3 bn euros

Per capita expenditure on organic food:

  • Europe: 47 Euro
  • EU: 67 Euro


Organic Figures International

International organic area

As in Europe, the positive organic trend continued at a global level. At the end of 2017, a total of 69.8 mn hectares of agricultural land were being farmed organically. This is 20% or 11.7 mn hectares more than in 2016 and thus the strongest growth ever recorded. Worldwide, 1.4% of agricultural land is farmed organically, in 14 countries the figure was at least 10% in 2017. In addition, organic farmland increased on all continents.


© FiBL survey 2017
© FiBL survey 2017


Countries with the largest organic area:

  • Australia: 36.5 mn hectares
  • Argentina: 3.4 mn hectares
  • China: 3 mn hectares

Distribution of the global organic agricultural area:

  • Oceania: 51.4%, 35.9 mn hectares
  • Europe: 21%, 14.6 mn hectares
  • Latin America: 11.5%, 5 mn hectares

Countries with the highest organic share of total agricultural area:

  • Liechtenstein: 37.9%
  • Samoa: 27.6%
  • Austria: 24%

Production and processing

In 2017, there were 2.9 mn organic producers worldwide, 5% more than in 2016.

Countries with the most producers:

  • India: 835,200
  • Uganda: 210,352
  • Mexico: 210,000

Sales development

  • International retail sales: USD 97 bn (approx. 90 bn euros)


© FiBL survey 2017/Ecovia Intelligence
© FiBL survey 2017/Ecovia Intelligence


World's largest markets:

  • United States: 40.0 bn euros
  • Germany: 10 bn euros
  • France: 7.9 bn euros
  • China: 7.6 bn euros

About the data collections

The data collection on organic farming in Europe was carried out jointly by FiBL and AMI as part of the global survey on organic farming, which is supported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, the International Trade Centre ITC, the Coop Fund for Sustainability, NürnbergMesse and IFOAM - Organics International. The entire study is available in the form of the statistical yearbook "The World of Organic Agriculture", published by FiBL and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture IFOAM - Organics International.

To the study "The World of Organic Agriculture



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