The organic food and farming sector had another record-breaking year, with global sales topping USD 80 billion and organically farmed land reaching 50.9 million acres.

The latest global data on organic farming worldwide (as of late 2015) was presented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM – Organics International at last month’s BIOFACH event in Nuremberg. The statistical yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture”* was also launched at the show.

The FiBL/IFOAM data shows that consumer demand continues to increase, reflected in the significant market growth of 11 percent in the United States, the world’s largest organic market. More farmers are growing organically, more land is certified organic, and 179 countries report organic farming activities (up from 172).

Meanwhile, London-based analyst Organic Monitor estimates the global market for organic food to have reached 81.6 billion US dollars in 2015 (approximately 75 billion euros).

The United States is the leading market with 35.9 billion euros, followed by Germany (8.6 billion euros), France (5.5 billion euros), and China (4.7 billion euros). In 2015, most of the major markets showed double-digit growth rates. The highest per capita spending was in Switzerland (262 Euros), and Denmark has the highest organic market share (8.4 percent of the total food market).

In 2015, 2.4 million organic producers were reported. India continues to be the country with the highest number of producers (585’200), followed by Ethiopia (203’602), and Mexico (200’039).

A total of 50.9 million hectares were organically managed at the end of 2015, representing a growth of 6.5 million hectares over 2014, the largest growth ever recorded. Australia is the country with the largest organic agricultural area (22.7 million hectares), followed by Argentina (3.1 million hectares), and the United States of America (2 million hectares).

45% of the global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (22.8 million hectares), followed by Europe (25%; 12.7 million hectares), and Latin America (13%; 6.7 million hectares).

The countries with the largest share of organic agricultural land of their total farmland are the Liechtenstein (30.2%), Austria (21.3% ), and Sweden (16.9%). In eleven countries 10 percent or more of all agricultural land is organic.

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