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Country report - Latvia

by Gustavs Norkārklis, Association of Latvian Organic Agriculture.

This article was originally written for the publication "Organic in Europe", published by the IFOAM EU Group in collaboration with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland, and the Mediterranean Institute for Agronomic Research CIHEAM-IAM, Bari, Italy. 

Key indicators 2012

  • Organic agricultural area: 195,700 hectares
  • Operators:
    • Organic producers: 3,496
    • Organic processors: 138
    • Organic importers: 2
    • Organic exporters: no data
  • Retail sales: no data

Area and operator data: Eurostat and Ministry of Agriculture

History of organic farming

  • 2004-2006: After Latvia joins the European Union there is a rapid increase in the organic area and the number of organic producers
  • 2006 and forward: there is a steady increase in the organic area (10 to 15 % each year), whereas the number of farmers remains stable (around 3,500)
  • 2010 and forward: the number of organic processors increases quickly (56 in 2009, 138 in 2012)

Key sector institutions

  • ALOA, Association of Latvian Organic Agriculture: www.lbla.lv
  • FVS, Food and Veterinary Service (control authority)
    Ministry of Agriculture: www.zm.gov.lv
  • STC, Certification and testing centre (certification body): www.stc.lv
  • Vides Kvalitāte (environmental quality; certification body): www.videskvalitate.lv

Production base: land use and key crops

Of the total area of 195,658 hectares of organic agricultural land (2012)

  • 51.2 % consists of arable land,
  • 45.8 % permanent grassland and grazing areas, and
  • 0.5 % is permanent crops.

The key arable crops are

  • green fodder from arable land (62,251 hectares),
  • cereals (30,771 hectares) and
  • protein crops (3,299 hectares).

Market

  • Top-selling products: Milk and dairy products (yoghurt, sour cream, cottage cheese). As regards raw material for further processing, the most important products are milk, cereals, potatoes, meat, fruits and berries.
  • Market channels: Most of the organic products are sold directly, some through small and specialised shops.
  • Export and import: no data available.

Standards, legislation, organic logo

EU legislation on organic farming and regulations applies. The organic logo Latvijas ekoprodukts is owned by the Association of Latvian Organic Agriculture. For non-processed products, 100 % of the produce must be grown in Latvia (fruits, vegetables, etc.).

Policy support

  • National action plan: There is currently no action plan for organic agriculture. However, there is a stated goal of converting 15 % of agricultural land to organic by 2015.
  • Support under EU rural development programmes: Farmers in Latvia receive support under the EU’s rural development programme.

Further information

For other relevant websites, see the section on key sector institutions

Contact

Gustavs Norkārklis
Association of Latvian Organic Agriculture
Republikas laukums 2-501
Rīga 1981
Latvia
Tel.: (+371) 294 95888
gustavs@no-spam.ekoprodukti.lv
www.lbla.lv

Organic in Europe 2014

  • Organic in Europe 2014 - Prospects and Developments
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