Global organic market: unprecedented growth in 2020

15 Feb 2022

The latest data on organic farming worldwide will be presented by the FiBL Organic Agriculture Research Institute and IFOAM – Organics International in conjunction with BIOFACH, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food. The statistical yearbook “The world of organic farming” was launched on Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Organic farmland and retail sales continued to show strong growth worldwide, based on data from 190 countries (data as of end 2020). Published by FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International, the 23rd edition of “The World of Organic Agriculture” shows that the positive trend seen in recent years continues in 2020. This annual survey of global organic agriculture is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Coop Sustainability Fund, and NürnbergMesse, organizers of the BIOFACH trade fair.

The global organic market continues to grow

In the context of the pandemic, the global organic food market showed its highest historical growth in 2020, exceeding €120 billion, a total increase of €14 billion. The United States remained the leading market (49.5 billion euros), followed by Germany (15 billion euros) and France (12.7 billion euros). In 2020, many major markets showed extraordinarily strong growth rates; the German market, for example, grew by more than 22%! Swiss consumers spent the most on organic food (€418 per capita in 2020), and Denmark continued to have the largest share of the organic market, with 13% of its total food market. The global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant increase in demand for organic products in many countries, but there were also challenges: “The effects of the pandemic are visible in the retail sales data. As people stayed in home and started cooking more often and health, environment and climate change became big issues, organic retail sales grew rapidly, yet at the same time foodservice sales declined in many countries ”, says Helga Willer, who is in charge of the FiBL yearbook.

3.4 million organic producers worldwide

In 2020, 3.4 million organic farmers were reported, an increase of 7.6% compared to 2019. India remained the country with the most organic farmers (1.6 million). Most of the small producers are certified in groups based on an internal control system.

Steady increase in organic farmland

Almost 75 million hectares were managed organically at the end of 2020, representing a growth of 4.1% or 3 million hectares compared to 2019. Australia had the largest organic agricultural area (35.7 million hectares), followed from Argentina (4.5 million hectares) and Uruguay. (2.7 million hectares). Organic area increased on all continents in 2020. Half of the world’s organic agricultural land is in Oceania (35.9 million hectares). Europe has the second largest area (17.1 million hectares), followed by Latin America (9.9 million hectares).

10% or more of farmland is organic in 18 countries

In 2020, 1.6% of the world’s agricultural land was organic. However, many countries have much higher shares: Liechtenstein had the highest organic share of total farmland (41.6%), followed by Austria (26.5%) and Estonia (22.4%). In 18 countries, 10% or more of all agricultural land is organic.

Global organic data shows continued commitment to transparency in the organic sector

“Global organic statistics have proven useful for international development cooperation programs and support strategies for organic agriculture and markets, and are crucial for monitoring the impact of these activities. This publication shows our continued commitment to the transparency in the organic sector,” says Louise Luttikholt. , Executive Director of IFOAM – Organics International.

Knut Schmidtke, Director of Research, Extension and Innovation at FiBL Switzerland, adds: “Organic agriculture secures our future and does so worldwide: the Yearbook underlines the international importance of organic agriculture for a climate-smart and sustainable food policy. and reflects people’s desire for confidence in organically produced food.”

Source: FiBL