More than 125 million acres of farmland were organically managed in 2015, a 16 percent increase over 2014, representing the largest growth in organic farmland ever recorded.
That’s according to The World of Organic Agriculture 2017, 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 global market for organic food reached $81.6 billion in 2015, a 1.6 percent increase over 2014, which had jumped 10 percent compared to 2013, according to the report, which cited data from London-based market research company Organic Monitor.
The 336-page report, which contains data for 2015, said 179 countries now report organic farming activities, up from 172 in 2014. Australia had the largest organic agricultural area at 56.1 million acres, followed by Argentina with 7.7 million acres, and the United States with 4.9 million acres, the report showed.
Countries with the largest share of organic agricultural land of their total farmland are Liechtenstein at 30.2 percent, Austria at 21.3 percent, and Sweden at 16.9 percent. In 11 countries, 10 percent or more of all agricultural land is organic, the report said.
The number of organic producers worldwide in 2015 increase 4.3 percent to 2.4 million, the report showed. India had the highest number of producers with 585,200, followed by Ethiopia with 203,602, and Mexico with 200,039.
The latest global data on organic farming worldwide will be officially released on Feb. 15 at the BIOFACH world organic trade fair 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany. Check out the 2016 World of Organic Agriculture.
The United States is the leading organic food market with organic food sales in 2015 of $39.7 billion, an 11 percent gain, followed by Germany with €8.6 billion in organic food sales, France with €5.5 billion, and China with €4.7 billion.
"In 2015, most of the major markets showed double-digit growth rates," the report said. "The highest per capita spending was in Switzerland €262, and Denmark had the highest organic market share with 8.4 percent of the total food market."