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Organic agriculture in Europe 2011

As of the end of 2011, 10.6 million hectares of agricultural land in Europe were managed organically on almost 290'000 farms. In Europe, 2.2 percent of the agricultural area, and in the European Union, 5.4 percent of the agricultural area is organic. Twenty-nine percent of the world's organic land is in Europe. Compared to 2010, organic farmland increased by 0.6 million hectares.

The countries with the largest organic agricultural area are Spain (1.6 million hectares), Italy (1.1 million hectares), and Germany (1 million hectares). There are seven countries in Europe with more than ten percent organic agricultural land: Liechtenstein (29.3 percent), Austria (19.7 percent), Sweden (15.2 percent), Estonia (14.8 percent), Switzerland (11.7 percent), Czech Republic (10.7 percent) and Latvia (10.4 percent).

Retail sales of organic products were approximately 21.5 billion euros in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over 2010. The largest market for organic products in 2011 was Germany with a turnover of 6.6 billion euros, followed by France (3.8 billion euros) and the UK (1.9 billion euros). The new research project OrganicDataNetwork that was launched in early 2012 is expected to be a major step towards improving European market data (www.organicdatanetwork.net).

Currently a revision process of the EU regulation is underway, which was started with three hearings at the Commission in 2012. In January 2013, a consultation for the review of the European policy on organic agriculture was launched by the European Commission. Regarding organic farming research, it is expected that the successful work of the Technology Platform TP Organics will result in more funding for organic farming research under the European Union’s next framework programme.

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