Retail sales of organic food products recorded growth of 10% in Italy in 2018 compared to the previous year, with an overall turnover of over €5 billion.
This is according to Italian farmers association Coldiretti, based on a European Commission report on organic agriculture data.
As well purchasing organic products from traditional retail outlets and specialised stores, a number of consumers also buy directly from farms, agri-tourism businesses and markets, Coldiretti said.
Over the last 15 years, the number of farms that sell organic products directly has increased by 187%, while the number of organic markets has grown by 222%, the study found.
In terms of farms that cultivate organic food, Italy is the European leader, with 64,210 companies in operation across1,795,650 hectares.
The research has also revealed that to satisfy national demand, Italy imports about 150 million kilos of organic food products from non-EU countries.
According to Coldiretti, it is important that the import of organic products be subjected to inspections and controls, as one third of imports came from China, where accreditation standards are lower.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Alessandra Arosio. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.