35 Million Hectares of Organic Agricultural Land World-wide

FiBL and IFOAM present new facts and figures about Organic Agriculture world-wide at the BioFach World Organic Trade Fair 2010 in Nuremberg, Germany

(Frick, Bonn, Nuremberg, February 15, 2010) The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) will present the latest statistics about organic agriculture world-wide at BioFach 2010. The results of the study, compiled in the book The World of Organic Agriculture:
Statistics and Emerging Trends 2010, will be presented at the world’s largest trade fair for organic products on Friday, February 19, 2010, at 10 a.m. in Room St. Petersburg of the Messezentrum Nürnberg.

35 million hectares of agricultural land are certified according to organic standards (data as at the end of 2008). "Compared to the 2007 data, almost three million hectares more were reported," says Helga Willer of FiBL. "Growth was strongest in Latin America and Europe." There are almost 1.4 million organic producers.

"That is good news," states Markus Arbenz, IFOAM's Executive Director. "The markets world-wide continue to demand more organic produce despite the economic turbulence." Referring to the growth of organic agriculture in the South, he adds, "We particularly welcome smallholders from developing countries into the organic movement. We have learned in recent years that conversion to organic agriculture supports food security, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation."

The greatest share of the global organic surface area is in Oceania (34.7 percent), followed by Europe (23.4 percent) and Latin America (23 percent). With its vast grazing lands, Australia continues to account for the largest certified organic surface area, with 12 million hectares, followed by Argentina (4 million hectares), and China (1.9 million hectares). The global market for organic products reached a value of over 50 billion U.S. Dollars in 2008, with the vast majority of products being consumed in North America and Europe, according to Organic Monitor.

"Policy makers in developing countries need to know the number of farmers involved in organic agriculture as well as its challenges and development potential globally. This type of information is difficult to find but is crucially important to help support the sector's development. The World of Organic Agriculture provides a unique and important global service in this regard," says Alexander Kasterine, Senior Market Development Officer at the International Trade Centre.

The results of the study The World of Organic Agriculture will be presented for the eleventh consecutive year at BioFach. In addition to the chapter on organic agriculture world-wide, the book contains completely revised reports about the emerging trends in all geographical regions, as well as background information on issues like standards and legislation, activities in the field of development cooperation, and on two principal crops, coffee and cotton. The study includes comprehensive data sets and numerous illustrations and graphs. Further data will be available at www.organic-world.net starting in mid March 2010.

Since 2008, support has been provided by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), within the framework of its support activities for organic production in developing countries, and by the International Trade Centre (ITC). NürnbergMesse has supported the implementation of the global survey and the publication of the yearbook, carried out by IFOAM, FiBL and the German Foundation Ecology & Agriculture SÖL, since 2000. The data collection in Africa has been supported for many years by the Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos, Netherlands)


Media enquiries during BioFach (February 17-20) should be directed to: • Dr. Helga Willer, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Tel. +41 79 218 0626, E-mail helga.willer@fibl.org, www.fibl.org

Contact • Dr. Helga Willer and Lukas Kilcher, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Ackerstr., 5070 Frick, Switzerland, Tel. +41 (0)79 218 0626, E-mail helga.willer@fibl.org, www.fibl.org • Markus Arbenz, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5, D-53113 Bonn, Germany, Tel. +49 228 926 5010, headoffice@ifoam.org, www.ifoam.org • Dr. Alexander Kasterine, International Trade Centre (ITC), UNCTAD/WTO, Rue de Montbrillant, 54-56, 1202 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Tel. +41 22 7300 111, Kasterine@intracen.org, www.intracen.org/organics • Barbara Böck, NürnbergMesse, Messezentrum, 90471 Nürnberg, Germany, Tel. +49 911 8606 8328, barbara.boeck@nuernbergmesse.de, www.biofach.de
Book info Helga Willer and Lukas Kilcher (Editors) (2010): The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2010. IFOAM, Bonn, and FiBL, Frick Printed copies (50 Euros + postage) of The World of Organic Agriculture can be ordered from FiBL and IFOAM at shop.fibl.org and www.ifoam.org. ISBN 978-3-940946-67-6 (IFOAM) and 978-3-03736-180-1 (FiBL)
Data sets and graphs Graphs and data sets (Excel) will be available at www.organic-world.net starting in mid-March. Download of this press release This press release is available at www.ifoam.org/press/releases.php