Posted on February 15, 2018

Global organic F&B sales up 10%

China supplants U.S. as 3rd-largest organic farmland owner, says FiBL's annual organic market yearbook

The global organic food and beverage market jumped 9.9 percent in 2016 to reach $89.7 billion, with the United States generating nearly half of sales.

That’s according to the 2018 edition of the World of Organic Agriculture, the annual statistical yearbook from the the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM – Organics International, the umbrella group for the global organic movement.

The 348-page report, which contains data for 2016, showed that China is now the third-largest holder of organic farmland with 5.6 million acres, a more than 42 percent increase over 2015. That pushes the United States to fourth place with just over 5 million acres, followed closely by Spain, which has about 31,000 acres less.

Australia dwarfs all other countries in terms of organic agricultural area with 67 million acres, a nearly 20 percent increase over 2015. Argentina is second with 7.4 million acres, down 2 percent from 2015.

According to the report, which cited global sales data from London-based market research firm Ecovia Intelligence, formerly Organic Monitor, the market share of the two leading country markets – the United States and Germany – has reached 5 percent, while market share remains below 1 percent in almost all countries outside North America and Europe. The global organic market had increased just 1.6 percent in 2015, after climbing 10 percent in 2014.

The United States is the leading organic F&B market with $43 billion, followed by Germany at 9.5 billion, France with 6.7 billion, and China with 5.9 billion.

In 2016, the organic F&B markets in France and Ireland both registered 22 percent growth rates, while Denmark and Norway each posted 20 percent growth.

The highest per capita spending was in Switzerland at 274, and Denmark had the highest organic market share at 9.7 percent of the total food market.

Meanwhile, the number of countries reporting organic farming activities fell by one in 2016 to 178. The number of countries maintaining organic regulations has remained at 87 since 2014.

In 2016, 2.7 million organic producers were reported, up 12.5 percent from 2015. Forty percent of those producers are in Asia, 27 percent are in Africa and 17 percent are in Latin America. India has 31 pecent of the world’s organic producers, followed by Uganda and Mexico with 7.8 percent each.

A total of 142.8 million acres were organically managed at the end of 2016, a 15 percent increase over revised 2015 numbers, representing the largest growth in organic farmland ever recorded. In 15 countries, 10 percent or more of all agricultural land is organic, a new record, the report said.

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