Organic in Europe
Production and consumption moving beyond a niche
Over the last three decades organic food and farming has been growing year by year across the EU and continues doing so. The EU’s organic market is very dynamic with growth rates varying between countries. Policies can positively impact this growth – both production and consumption.
In 2018, the EU’s total area of farmland under organic production grew to 13.8 million hectares. Compared to 2017, the number of organic producers in the EU increased by 7.1% to 327,000. A significant growth of the EU’s organic retail market accompanies this development, rising by 7.7% to more than 37 billion EUR. Between 2009 to 2018, the value of the EU’s organic market more than doubled.
The EU’s organic market is very dynamic with growth rates varying between different countries. Its continuous positive development is due to a combination of factors. These include the innovative character of organic food and farming, growing policy support and European citizens increasing demand for high-quality, sustainable food production. This is well represented in the growing per capita consumption of organic products. Generally speaking, consumers spend more on organic food every year with certain product groups achieving above-average market shares.
In May 2020, the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy mentions organic as a key sector to achieve the European Green Deal’s food ambitions. The strategy states that “The market for organic food is set to continue growing and organic farming needs to be further promoted”. With the help of an organic action plan and measures of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the European Commission wants to “reach the objective of at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 and a significant increase in organic aquaculture”.
It is crucial to link this target to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, the Biodiversity Strategy and other agri-food policies to create a more positive environment in which farmers and food companies feel confident making significant investment decisions to meet consumers’ demand for products produced with a heart for people, animals and the planet.
Browse production and market data
Do you want to know more about organic production and market data in Europe? Browse our interactive infographic. The infographic displays organic production and market for all EU Member states and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.
Since 2000, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) compiles a yearly overview of the most recent data on organic production and retail in Europe and the world in “The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2020”. Together with FiBL, we fit the European data in our interactive infographic.
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) of the European Commission co-finances this publication.