The Organic Sector Continues to Grow: EUROSTAT Data on Organic Farming in Europe Presented.

Italian organic businesses have a significant opportunity in exports, despite the challenges that need to be addressed to fully realize this sector’s potential. Italy is a leader in Europe in terms of organic production volumes and stands out for its significant and diversified processing chain.

This success can be attributed to the international appreciation for Italian food products, which also leads to a greater willingness to pay a premium for quality and genuine products such as organic ones.

Between 2012 and 2022, the total organic area increased in almost all EU countries, particularly in:

  • Croatia +305.5%
  • Portugal +278%
  • Bulgaria +182%
  • France +179%
  • Hungary +145%
  • Romania +123%
  • Italy +101%

The countries with the highest shares of organic area compared to the total utilized agricultural area (UAA) were:

  • Austria (27%)
  • Estonia (23%)
  • Sweden (20%)

Data on organic supply chains in Europe

According to Eurostat data in 2022, Sweden had the highest production of cereals using the organic method, although it remains a relatively marginal part of the total cereal production in the EU. Other countries with the highest organic cereal production were Estonia with 6.6% and Italy with 6.4%. Sweden also recorded the highest production of fresh organic vegetables (19.2%), followed by Germany (11.4%) and Italy (6.3%).

The main crops characterizing the EU’s organic UAA are cereals, vegetables, pastures, and permanent crops: orchards, olive groves, and vineyards. Even though the organic UAA is not very significant, permanent crops exceeded 20% in 2022 in six EU countries, including Cyprus (38%), Malta (36%), and Spain (30%). However, in over 15 EU countries, they do not even reach 5%.

Regarding livestock farming, there has been a growing increase in organic cattle and sheep at a time when the number of animals in EU farms is declining. According to Eurostat data in 2022, organic cattle in the EU were 7.2%, about 5.4 million out of a total of 74.8 million (in 2018, the number was 4.3 million, or 5.5%).

The most farmed animals using the organic method in Europe are herbivores that graze, such as cattle and sheep. In 2022, several nations reached a considerable number of organically raised grazing animals, including Estonia (44%), the Czech Republic (41%), and Austria (36%). Greece, however, stood out for having the highest number of organic cattle (46%) with good production of cow’s milk; organic dairy cows reached 31%. In contrast, the number of organic pig farms is still quite low across Europe, with Luxembourg recording the highest production share at only 5%.

The complete Eurostat report provides additional statistical details, accompanied by graphs and tables, on the various types of crops and livestock production in Europe. The report is available at the following link: Eurostat Report

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