EU organic market growth “impressive…but fragile” 

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The continuing growth of the EU organic market in 2020 (reported on today at the launch of the 2022 World of Organic Agriculture report) is impressive – but remains “fragile” in the face of uncertainty over public policy support.

That was the verdict today of IFOAM Organics Europe, Europe’s lead organic body. 

The new report, produced jointly by FiBL and IFOAM Organics Europe and International, shows that the EU organic market grew by a record 15.1% in 2020, to be worth €44.8 billion (making it the second largest market, after the USA). It also reveals that more than half of organic land in the EU is concentrated in just four countries: France, Spain, Italy and Germany.

IFOAM Organics Europe recently warned against any watering down of the new Statistics on Agricultural Inputs and Outputs (SAIO) Regulation. It says systematic data collection on organic agriculture has a vital role to play in helping the bloc meet the ambitious targets set out in its Farm to Fork strategy. 

“The growth of organic farming in the EU has been impressive up to 2020, but it is fragile as it is partly dependent on public policy support”

Looking at the organic data, Member of the European Parliament, Petros Kokkalis, rapporteur of the Regulation on Statistics on Agricultural Inputs and Outputs (SAIO) commented: “The SAIO Regulation is the opportunity to provide for precise and reliable data on organic agriculture. We need to be able to monitor and evaluate the EU target to reach 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030”.

IFOAM Organics Europe’s director Eduardo Cuoco added: “The growth of organic farming in the EU has been impressive up to 2020, but it is fragile as it is partly dependent on public policy support, and the current negotiations on the CAP Strategic Plans bring a lot of uncertainties. The case of France, which currently holds the Presidency of the EU Council, is striking: it now boasts the largest area of organic land in the EU, but the government’s plans to stop CAP payments rewarding organic farmers for the public goods they deliver risks putting a halt to the growth of the past years.”

Image: Eduardo Cucoco talking at today’s event. IFOAM Organics Europe, via Twitter