Statistics of the global organic market in 2021
The global organic market and farmland continued to grow in 2021
Each year, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM - Organics International present the latest data on organic statistics worldwide at BIOFACH in February. The yearbook "The World of Organic Agriculture" is available for download on the FiBL website and provides an overview of the development of organic agriculture and markets worldwide. These are the latest figures and trends FiBL and IFOAM presented in 2023:
The development in 2021 shows that organic retail sales increased by four billion Euro and reach almost 125 billion Euro in 2021; organic cultivation area grew to 76.4 million hectares. Globally, the organic farmland increased by 1.3 million hectares in 2021, with the biggest increase in China, France and Spain. In 2021, 1.6 percent of the world’s agricultural land was organic. The highest organic shares of the total agricultural land were in Oceania (9.7 percent) and in Europe (3.6 percent; EU: 9.6 percent).
Nearly two-thirds of the organic agricultural land was grassland/grazing areas. Arable land accounted for 19 percent of the organic land, mostly used for cereals, followed by green fodder, oilseeds, textile crops and dry pulses. Permanent crops accounted for 8.1 percent of the organic land, with the key crops being coffee, olives, nuts, grapes and cocoa. There were at least 3.7 million organic producers in 2021, 49 percent located in Asia, followed by Africa (31 percent), Europe (12 percent) and Latin America (8 percent). The global market of organic food and drink sales reached nearly 125 billion Euro in 2021. The main importer of organic products are the US and EU where imports amounted to 4.7 million metric tons (MT) in 2021. The graph below shows the key facts of the organic retail sales in 2021.
In 2021 in Europe the organic farmland and market continued to grow, although slower than in previous years. The total organic farmland in Europe was 17.8 Mio hectares, a share of 3.6 percent of total farmland in 2021. France had the largest organic farmland area, followed by Spain and Italy. 8.4 million hectares were used for the production of arable crops, with the main crops cereals, green fodder and oil seeds, while 6.9 million hectares were permanent grassland. Another 2.0 million hectares were used for permanent crops, mainly olives, grapes and nuts. In 2021 there were 442,274 organic producers, 87,676 organic processors and 7,590 organic importers. The organic retail sale measures in total 54.5 billion Euro. The European Union imported a total of 2.87 million MT of organic products, the top importers were the Netherlands (0.95 million MT), Germany (0.52 million MT) and Belgium (0.28 million MT). The main export products to the EU were bananas (0.72 million MT), oilcakes and sugar (0.21 million MT each). The countries with the most exports to the EU were Ecuador (0.35 million MT), the Dominican Republic (0.27 million MT) and India (0.21 million MT).
In 2021, more than 6.5 million hectares were managed organically, this equals nine percent of the world's organic farmland. In total, there were more than 1.78 million organic producers in Asia (almost half of the world’s organic producers), of which almost 1.6 million operated in India.
Nearly 3.5 million hectares were under organic management in 2021 in North America (-200,000 ha since 2020). This area was cultivated by more than 23,000 farmers, over 70 percent of them in the US. In the total of 53.9 billion Euro in retail sales, the US had the biggest share with 48.6 billion Euro.
In 2021, nearly 9.9 million hectares were managed organically, but with a small decrease of -0.7 percent. Almost 70 percent were permanent grassland, located mainly in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Over 2.7 million MT were exported to the EU and US, constituting 56.8 percent of all organic exports to these trade blocks.
The area under organic cultivation grew by 17.3 percent, thus resulting in a total of nearly 2.7 million hectares of organic land in Africa. In 2021 almost 460,000 MT of organic products were exported to the EU and US. Over 20 percent of organic exports consisted of soybeans/soybean products, oils or bananas.
In 2021, nearly 36 million hectares were organically managed in Oceania. More than 99 percent of Oceania’s farmland was in Australia, making it the country with the largest organic area worldwide. Nevertheless, around 96 percent of Oceania’s organic farmland is permanent grassland or grazing land.
This text is a translation. No guarantee can be given for the correctness.
Source: Willer, Helga, Bernhard Schlatter and Jan Trávníček (Eds.) (2023): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and
Emerging Trends 2023. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, and IFOAM – Organics International, Bonn. Online Version 2 of February 23, 2023
Detailed information (free PDF download):
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL & IFOAM – Organics International: The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Emerging Trends 2023