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Global Organic Update

Oct 2017

BioGro New Zealand is starting to do Non-GMO certification programme. They recognised the need for clarity about non-GMO labels, especially at a consumer level. Providing this programme really enables an authentic and trusted logo to be used, and this helps to determine whether a claim really is genuine. Read more.


Feb 2014

Growing organic agriculture sector explores its future

Organic 3.0 – the future of organic – is on the agenda at BIOFACH 2014. 1.9 million certified organic farmers in 164 countries on 37.5 million hectares and a global market for organic food of 63.8 billion US dollars is what the organic movement achieved up to the year 2012. The global trend remains positive, but the ambitions of the organic movement go far beyond the present uptake.


(Bonn/Frick/Nürnberg February) The positive trend of the past remains unbroken: Consumer demand increases (with 10 % market growth in the world’s largest organic market, the US), more farmers cultivate organically (+5%) and more land is organically certified (+0.5%) (end of 2012) as shown in the 2014 edition of the FiBL-IFOAM study “The World of Organic Agriculture”.

Organic 1.0 is the foundation laid by organic pioneers of various backgrounds. The past decades (Organic 2.0) have seen organic agriculture develop impressively. However, global food production is far away from being sustainable: Poverty, social injustice and hunger prevail in many rural areas. Farmers – despite 2014 being the UN year of family farming - are disempowered. And agriculture contributes significantly to climate change and loss of biodiversity on the planet. Hence, the launch of Organic 3.0 – with the purpose of strategy building and innovation towards a more positive impact - at BIOFACH 2014 is well timed.

Organic 3.0 that is: Sustainable use of natural resources rather than exploitation! Focus the strategy on impact rather than on perfection! And full transparency of the value chain rather than green washing! “The holistic nature of organic is an opportunity to address global challenges”, says Markus Arbenz, the Executive Director of IFOAM. “The movement is looking into numerous issues such as nutrition and human health, soil and water conservation, free access to seeds, land ownership, animal welfare, and it will lobby for true cost accounting and against perverse subsidies. And we need to secure supply to the market that drives our development.”

Global Statistics 2014: The market, the producers, and the area

The market research company Organic Monitor estimates the global market for organic products in 2012 reached almost 64 billion US dollars (ca. 50 billion euros). The leading market is the United States with 22.6 billion euros, followed by Germany (7 billion euros) and France (4 billion euros). The countries with the highest per capita spending were Switzerland (189 euros) and Denmark (159 euros).

Moving from consumers to producers, according to the FiBL-IFOAM survey, approximately 80 percent of a global total of 1.9 million organic producers (up from 1.8 million) are located in developing countries. As in previous years, the countries with the most producers are India (600’000), Uganda (189’610), Mexico (169’707), and Tanzania (148’610).

From a farmland perspective, a total of 37.5 million hectares were organic at the end of 2012. An increase of almost 200’000 hectares was reported compared with 2011. In Africa, organic land increased by seven percent and in Europe by six percent.

One third of all global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (32 percent; 12.2 million hectares), followed by Europe (30 percent; 11.2 million hectares), and Latin America (18 percent; 6.8 million hectares). Australia is the country with the largest organic agricultural area (12 million hectares, with 97 percent of that area used as grazing), followed by Argentina (3.6 million hectares) and the United States of America (2.2 million hectares). The countries with the largest share of organic agricultural land of all farmland are the Falkland Islands (36.3 percent), followed by Liechtenstein (29.6 percent) and Austria (19.7 percent) and further European countries. In ten countries more than ten percent of agricultural land is organic.

The most significant expansion in organic area as well as solid market growth noted in recent years has been in Europe. More information is available from a recently published study by the European Union Group of IFOAM, FiBL and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (CIHEAM-IAMB) that shows the potential for further growth in Europe based on a supportive public policy environment and increasing consumer demand.



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