Nearly 173 million acres (69.8 million hectares) of farmland are organic worldwide

By vast

Published: April 5, 2019

Category: Organic Farming and Food, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter

The year 2017 was another record year for global organic agriculture. According to the latest Research Institute of Organic Agriculture(FiBL) survey on organic agriculture worldwide, organic farmland increased substantially, and the number of organic producers and organic retail sales also continued to grow, reaching another all-time high, as shown by the data from 181 countries (data as of the end 2017). The 20th edition of the study “The World of Organic Agriculture” published by FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International shows a continuation of the positive trend seen in the past years.

The market research company Ecovia Intelligence estimates that the global market for organic food reached $97 billion in 2017. The United States is the leading market with $45 billion, followed by Germany ($11.3 billion), France ($8.9 billion), and China ($8.5 billion). In 2017, many major markets continued to show double-digit growth rates, and the French organic market grew by 18 percent. The Swiss spent the most on organic food (288 euros per capita in 2017). Denmark had the highest organic market share (13.3 percent of the total food market).

A total of 172 million acres (69.8 million hectares) were organically managed at the end of 2017, representing a growth of 20 percent or 29 million acres over 2016, the largest growth ever recorded. Australia has the largest organic agricultural area (88 million acres), followed by Argentina (8.4 million acres), and China (7.4 million acres). Due to the large area increase in Australia, half of the global organic agricultural land is now in Oceania (88.7 million acres). Europe has the second largest area (21 percent; 36 million acres), followed by Latin America (11.5 percent; 19.7 million acres). The organic area increased in all continents.

In 2017, 2.9 million organic producers were reported, which is 5 percent more than in 2016. India continues to be the country with the highest number of producers (835,200), followed by Uganda (210,352), and Mexico (210,000).

Source: Research Institute of Organic Agriculture

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