Published: April 4, 2023

Category: Market News

Organic retail sales increased by 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion) and reached almost 125 billion euros ($135 billion) in 2021; organic farmland grew to 76.4 million hectares (188.7 million acres).

Organic farmland and retail sales both continued to show growth worldwide, according to data from 191 countries (data as of the end of 2021). Published by FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International, the 24th edition of “The World of Organic Agriculture” shows the trend of overall growth seen in past years continued into 2021, although at a slower pace.

This annual survey on global organic agriculture is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Sustainability Fund of Coop Switzerland, and NürnbergMesse, organizers of the BIOFACH trade fair.

The global organic market continued to grow, but slower

In 2021, the organic market reached almost 125 billion euros ($135 billion)—an increase of nearly 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion) or approximately 3%.

With 48.6 billion euros ($52.4 billion), the United States continued to be the world’s leading market, followed by Germany (15.9 billion euros/$17.1 billion) and France (12.7 billion euros/$13.7 billion). Swiss consumers spent the most on organic food (425 euros/$459 per capita on average), and Denmark continued to have the highest organic market share, with 13% of its total food market.

3.7 million organic producers worldwide

In 2021, 3.7 million organic producers were reported, an increase of 4.9% compared to 2020. India remained the country with the most organic producers (1.6 million).gg

Steady increase of organic farmland

A bit more than 76.4 million hectares (188.7 million acres) were organically managed at the end of 2021, representing a growth of 1.7% or 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) compared to 2020. Australia had the largest organic agricultural area (35.7 million hectares/88.2 million acres), followed by Argentina (4.1 million hectares/10.1 million acres) and France (2.8 million hectares/6.9 million acres). Organic farmland area increased in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, while it decreased in the Americas. A bit less than half of the global organic agricultural land was in Oceania (35.9 million hectares/88.7). Europe had the second largest area (17.8 million hectares/43.9 million acres), followed by Latin America (9.9 million hectares/24.4 million acres).

Ten percent or more of farmland was organic in 20 countries

In 2021, 1.6% of farmland around the world was organic. However, many countries have far higher shares: Liechtenstein had the largest organic share of total farmland (40.2%), followed by Samoa (29.1%) and Austria (26.5%). In 20 countries, 10% or more of all agricultural land was organic.

National regulatory frameworks in 74 countries

Momentum for the organic sector continued to build around the world. Many countries kept up or initiated support activities for organic agriculture, including new action plans or policies aiming to foster growth. This positive trend was mirrored in the increase in fully implemented national regulatory frameworks for organic, which went up to a total of 74 globally.

Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2023