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Facts and Figures about Organic Farming in Europe 2009

As of the end of 2009, 9.3 million hectares of agricultural land in Europe were managed organically by almost 260'000 farms. In Europe, 1.9 percent of the agricultural area, and in the European Union 4.7 percent of the agricultural area is organic. Twenty-five percent of the world's organic land is in Europe. (See also section on organic statistics in Europe).

Compared to the revised data for 2008, organic land increased by nearly one million hectares. The countries with the largest organic agricultural area are Spain (1.3 million hectares), Italy (1.1 million hectares) and Germany (0.95 million hectares).

There are five countries now in Europe with more than ten percent organic agricultural land: Liechtenstein (26.9 percent), Austria (18.5 percent), Sweden (12.6), Switzerland (10.8 percent), and Estonia (10.5 percent).

Sales of organic products were approximately 18’400 million euros in 2009. The market grew at smaller rates than in previous years even though some countries like France and Sweden showed strong growth. The largest market for organic products in 2009 was Germany with a turnover of 5’800 million euros, followed by France (3'041 million euros) and the UK (2'065 million euros). As a portion of the total market share, the highest levels have been reached in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland, with 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 the European as well as national action plans. An updated overview of European action plans shows that currently 26 action plans (including regional action plans) are in place.

A major development in 2010 was the launch of the new European logo for organic food.

Articles about organic farming in Europe in the 2011 edition of "The World of Organic Agriculture"

  • Organic Agriculture in Europe: Overview   
    Helga Willer 
  • The Organic Market in Europe    
    Diana Schaack, Helga Willer, and Susanne Padel 
  • Organic Action Plans in Europe in 2010   
    Victor Gonzálvez, Otto Schmid and Helga Willer 
  • Switzerland: Country Report    
    Lukas Kilcher 
  • Ukraine Country Report    
    Natalie Prokopchuk and Tobias Eisenring

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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