Organic market grows by double digits in Europe

The organic market in Europe grew by double digits in 2015, reaching close to EUR 30 billion. Germany is the largest organic market in Europe, but Switzerland has the highest per capita consumption of organic food anywhere in the world.

According to the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the organic market in Europe grew by 13 per cent in 2015, reaching EUR 27.1 billion. This is the first time since the financial crisis that the market has exhibited double-digit growth, said Helga Willer of FiBL.

Germany was the largest organic market in Europe in 2015, with EUR 8.6 billion, followed by France (EUR 5.5 billion) and the UK (EUR 2.6 billion). Globally, Germany is the second largest market after the US (EUR 35.8 billion in 2015).

European consumers are also spending more on organic food, on average EUR 36.4 in Europe. The Swiss spent the most on organic food in 2015 and has the highest per capita spending on organic food worldwide (EUR 262), followed by Denmark (EUR 191) and Sweden (EUR 177).

These countries also have the highest organic market shares: Denmark has the lead with 8.4 per cent, followed by Switzerland at 7.7 per cent. Luxembourg has the third highest organic market share in Europe at 7.5 per cent.

Said Diana Schaack of the Agricultural Market Information Company (AMI): “Many products and product groups reach far higher shares. In Switzerland, for example, every fourth egg sold is organic, and for dairy products, the organic market share can be 10 per cent and more.”

While the organic market continues to grow faster than organic farmland, the area of organic farmland grew at a faster rate in 2015 than it had in past years, increasing by almost one million hectares or by 8.2 per cent.

At the end of 2015, 12.7 million hectares were under organic management in Europe, constituting 2.5 per cent of the total agricultural land. The countries with the largest organic farmland are Spain, Italy and France. Nine European countries report that at least 10 per cent of their farmland is organic, and the highest organic shares worldwide are in Liechtenstein (30.2 per cent), Austria (21.3 per cent) and Sweden (16.9 per cent).


Image credit: Wendell, flickr/Creative Commons

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