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Italy: Organic agricultural land and retail sales on the rise

Data on the organic and operators are provided by the Italian Information system for organic farming SINAB, which is based data from the authorised inspection bodies operating in Italy.

Logo SINAB 2012 data

The 2012 data show a dynamic sector, with an increasing number of operators and area:

  • The number of certified operators in Italy increased from 48’269 in 2011 to 49’709 in 2012.
  • There was a significant increase of producers, from 37’905 in 2011 to 40’146 in 2012.
  • However, a decrease of processors was noted.
  • The number of importers has remained stable.
  • As in previous years, a large part of the organic farms is in the South of the country, whereas most processors are in the Northern regions.
  • The total area of organic and in conversion land was 1’167’362 hectares in December 2012, an overall increase of 6.4% over the previous year.
  • Important land use categories are fodder (21.8% of organic and in-conversion land) and cereals (18%), followed by grassland, both meadow and permanent pasture (17.6).
  • Important livestock types are dairy cow, beef and sheep for meat production and poultry.
  • The data show a significant increase in 2012 in the number of pigs (32.2% increase) and bees (29.2 % increase of hives).

An official publication with market data is expected to be released in September 2013. However, according to preliminary data from the Ismea/GFK – Eurisko panel, in the first quarter of 2012 domestic expenditure of packaged organic products in large scale retail shops shows a strong growth (8.8% compared to the same period of the previous year). In particular, there has been a strong increase of biscuits and snacks, followed by fresh and processed fruit and vegetables.

Text: Francesco Solfanelli, UPM, Ancona

 More information

SINAB.it: Bio in cifre 2012: I dati del biologico italiano. Prime anticipazioni del SINA