Increasing by almost 4 percent, the European organic market reached another high in 2021: 54.5 billion euros. Organic farmland expanded by almost 0.8 million hectares. The latest data on organic agriculture in Europe, which are published in the yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture”, published by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International and presented at BIOFACH.

Source: FiBL

In 2021, 17.8 million hectares of farmland in Europe were organic (in the European Union: 15.6 million hectares). With almost 2.8 million hectares, France continued to be the number one country in terms of farmland under organic management, followed by Spain (2.6 million hectares), Italy (2.2 million hectares) and Germany (1.8 million hectares).

17.8 million hectares of farmland in Europe were organic in 2021

Organic farmland increased by almost 0.8 million hectares

Organic farmland increased by almost 0.8 million hectares, which represented an increase of 5.2 percent in the European Union and 4.4 percent in Europe. This increase was slightly lower than in 2020. Compared to 2020, France and Spain reported an increase of 0.23 million hectares and 0.20 million hectares, respectively.

Source: FiBL

Liechtenstein had the highest organic share of the total farmland in the world

In 2021, organic farmland in Europe constituted 3.6 percent of the total agricultural land. It was 9.6 percent in the European Union. In Europe (and globally), Liechtenstein had the highest organic area share (40.2 percent), followed by Austria, the country with the highest organic share (26.5 percent) in the European Union. Fifteen European countries reported that at least 10 percent of their farmland was organic.

Retail sales in Europe were valued at 54.5 billion euros

Organic producers, processors and importers

There were more than 440’000 organic producers in Europe and almost 380’000 in the European Union. Italy had the highest number (75’874). There were 87’676 processors in Europe and 82’500 in the European Union; 7’590 importers were counted in Europe and 6’378 in the European Union. The country with the largest number of processors was Italy (nearly 24‘000), while Germany had the most importers (more than 2’000).

Source: FiBL

Retail sales reached 54.5 billion euros

Retail sales in Europe were valued at 54.5 billion euros (46.7 billion in the European Union). The largest market was Germany (15.9 billion euros). The European Union represented the second-largest single market for organic products globally after the United States (48.6 billion euros).

European consumers spent more on organic food

In 2021, consumers in Europe spent 65.7 euros on organic food per person on average (European Union: 104.3 euros). Consumer spending on organic food per capita doubled in the decade 2012-2021. In 2021, Swiss and Danish consumers spent the most on organic food (425 and 384 euros per capita, respectively).

Source: FiBL

Denmark had the highest organic market share in the world

Globally, European countries accounted for the highest share of organic food sales as a percentage of their respective food markets. Denmark had the highest share worldwide, with 13.0 percent in 2021, followed by Austria with a share of 11.6 percent and Luxembourg with 11.0 percent.

Slower growth of retail sales in 2021

In 2021, the European market achieved a growth rate of 3.8 percent (European Union: 3.6 percent). The highest growth was observed in Estonia (+21 percent) and Luxembourg (+15.3 percent), the only countries with double-digit growth in 2021. The pandemic continued to sustain organic markets in many European countries in 2021, but not to the same extent as in 2020, when the market grew by 15 percent.

In 2022, increasing prices for consumer goods cut food spending among some groups. The 2022 data will show the impact on the organic market.

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