Total Area Dedicated To Organic Farming Increases In European Union

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Total Area Dedicated To Organic Farming Increases In European Union

The total area used for organic agricultural production across the European Union continues to increase, reaching 16.9 million hectares in 2022, according to new data from Eurostat.

This is up from 15.9 million hectares in 2021 and 14.7 million hectares in 2020, the data showed.

On a country by country basis, Austria boasts the highest share of organic farming, with 27% of its total farmland dedicated to organic production, ahead of Estonia (23%) and Sweden (20%).

By contrast, the share of organic farming is below 5% in five EU countries, accounting for just 1% in Malta, and 2% in Bulgaria and Ireland, the data showed.

The biggest increases in area used for organic farming, between 2012 and 2022, were seen in Croatia (+306%), Portugal (278%), Bulgaria (182%), France (+179%), Hungary (+145%), Romania (+123%) and Italy (+101%).


Organic Farming Network

Overall, organic farming comprised 10.5% of total EU agricultural land in 2022.

Increasing numbers of EU livestock are being reared organically, the data showed. As of 2022, 5.4 million bovine animals (7.2% of all bovines), 1.0 million cows (4.9%), and 6.1 million sheep (10.4%) were reared using organic methods.

In contrast, the organic production of cereals (including grain and seed) remains a relatively small part of total cereal production in the EU. The highest shares recorded among EU countries in 2022 were in Sweden (7.0%), Estonia (6.6%), and Italy (6.4%).

Sweden also had the highest share of organic fresh vegetable production (19.2%) among EU countries, followed by Germany (11.4%) and Italy (6.3%).


Farm To Fork Strategy

One of the main objectives of the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy is to encourage the development of organic farming areas.

The strategy has set a target of having at least 25% of the EU's agricultural land under organic farming by 2030.

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