20 years of making Europe more organic

BRUSSELS, 11 MAY 2022 – Today, IFOAM Organics Europe celebrates its 20-years anniversary. Established in 2002 as the united voice of the European organic movement, it now represents more than 400,000 food operators across Europe, and a diverse and thriving organic movement towards the EU institutions.

Jan Plagge, IFOAM Organics Europe’s President, points out: “The growth of IFOAM Organics Europe and the European organic movement is a testament that organic is more than an inspiring and pioneering production method. It is also a political tool that will help Europe face the current societal challenges – like the climate and biodiversity crises.” He elaborates: “For these last 20 years, organic operators have shown that they can produce high-quality food without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, and with further investment in research, organic yields will continue to increase. Organic agriculture also provides solutions to adapt to changing climatic conditions and make our food production more resilient and less dependent on energy-intensive inputs. As someone with a background in organic farming myself, I am convinced that organic production is the best choice to guarantee the food supply for current and future generations.”

Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Director, adds: “The organic movement’s presence in Brussels has grown alongside the number of organic producers and processors in Europe over the last twenty years, and organic farming is now recognised as the leading European project to make our food system more sustainable. The 25% organic target of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies is a recognition of the benefits of organic agriculture for the environment, farmers, and consumers. Much remains to be done to make agriculture more resilient and in line with planetary boundaries, but the organic movement can be proud of what has been achieved so far for the recognition of its contribution to many European policy objectives. Consumers also trust organic, the fact that the market grew to €44.8 billion proves this.”

IFOAM Organics Europe looks forward to the next 20 years of collaboration with the EU institutions and relevant stakeholders to make Europe more organic!

For more information please contact:
Eva Berckmans, Communications Manager
+32 2 416 52 32, [email protected]

IFOAM Organics Europe is the European umbrella organisation for organic food and farming. With almost 200 members in 34 European countries, our work spans the entire organic food chain and beyond: from farmers and processors organisations, retailers, certifiers, consultants, traders and researchers to environmental and consumer advocacy bodies. In 2022, IFOAM Organics Europe is turning 20, IFOAM Organics International 50 and IFOAM Asia 10. Celebrate the Year of Organics with us!

The elaborate collection of data in The World of Organic Agriculture 2022 shows that, in 2020, organic recorded a record growth. Organic land in the EU grew to 14.9 million ha, although at a slower rate than in the previous years. The EU organic market marked a record increase of 15.1%, reaching €44.8 billion.

In the EU, more than half of organic land is concentrated in 4 countries: France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. France is the new champion among EU countries and now hosts the largest organic agricultural area (2.5 million ha) – followed by Spain and Italy (with respectively 2.4 and 2.1 million ha). The highest number of organic producers is active in Italy (71,590), followed by France (53,255) and Spain (44,493).

The EU market for organic reached a value of €44.8 billion, making EU the second largest market, after the USA, and followed by China. The EU’s market champion is Germany with a market valued at €15 billion, followed by France with €12.7 billion and Italy with much smaller market of €3.9 billion.

For more data and statistics, read the Research Institute on Organic Agriculture (FiBL)’s 2022 edition of the World of Organic Agriculture 2022.

For pictures, discussion, and insights of the 20-years anniversary event taking place in Brussels today, check out our twitter thread.

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