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Facts and Figures about Organic Farming in Europe 2008

As of the end of 2008, 8.2 million hectares in Europe were managed organically by more than 220'000 farms. In the European Union, 7.5 million hectares were under organic management, with almost 200’000 organic farms. 1.7 percent of the European agricultural area and 4.3 percent of the agricultural area in the European Union is organic.

Twenty-three percent of the world's organic land is in Europe. The countries with the largest organic agricultural area are Spain, Italy and Germany.

There are four countries now in Europe with more than 10 percent organic agricultural land: Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden.

Compared to 2007, organic land increased by more than 0.5 million hectares.

Sales of organic products were approximately 18’000 million Euros in 2008. The largest market for organic products in 2008 was Germany, followed by France  and the UK. As a portion of the total market share, the highest levels have been reached in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland, with approximately five percent or more for organic products. The highest per capita spending is also in these countries.

Support for organic farming in the European Union and neighboring countries includes grants under rural development programs, legal protection, and a European as well as national action plans. One of the key instruments of the European Action Plan on organic food and farming, an information campaign, was launched during 2008, with the aim of increasing awareness of organic farming throughout the European Union. Furthermore, most EU member states have national action plans. (See articles by Helga Willer and Diana Schaack in The World of Organic Agriculture 2010, page 136).

More information


Dr. Helga Willer
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL
Ackerstrasse 113
5070 Frick
Tel.+41 62 865 7207
Fax +41 62 865 7273
Personal webpage