The Global Organic Market

Consumers around the world have become aware of the importance of their health. This consecration has changed their desires and preferences, which has increased the number of consumers of organic products instead of conventional products. This consumption of organic products is intended to avoid the harmful effects to health caused by chemical preservatives or genetically modified organisms. That’s why their prices are higher than conventional products, they don’t contain pesticides or fertilizers. Price can be a barrier for consumers, which is why producers and traders are trying to reduce it. Moreover, the demand for organic products is increasing, leading to innovations in the sector, which should reduce the price difference between conventional and organic products. The growing popularity of organic products has increased the accessibility of organic food around the world.

According to a study by "The World of Organic Agriculture", the organic trend observed in recent years continues to increase. We observe a growth in the demand of organic products, the numbers of certified organic land and organic farmers are increasing and the number of countries with organic farms has reached 178 in 2018. The number of organic lands cultivated in 2014 varies from one continent to another. Oceania and Europe are in first place with respectively 4.1% and 2.4%, while this share was only 0.1% in Africa.

The majority of organic surfaces in the world is permanent grasslands. In Oceania, they accounted for 96% of surface area in 2014, compared to 67% in Latin America, 42% in North America and 41% in Europe. In Africa, perennial crops are the most important because they represent 48% of organic land on the continent. In Asia, arable crops are the majority, accounting for 45% of organic land.

Between 2000 and 2014, the number of organic farms has increased nine-fold worldwide. The world organic area has grown 2.8 times. The number of organic farmlands across the world has

reached 58 million hectares, showing a growth rate of 15% from 2015 to 2016. The country with the largest organic agriculture area is Australia with 27.2 million hectares, followed by Argentina with 3 million hectares and China with 2.3 million hectares. Although half of the organic farmland is in Oceania, Europe has 23% of it with 13.5 million hectares, followed by Latin America with 12% and 7.1 million hectares. The countries with the largest share of agricultural land of their total farmland are the Liechtenstein with 37.7%, French Polynesia with 31.3% and Samoa with 22.4%. The highest growth rates on organic surfaces and farms were observed in Africa and Asia, where development really began in the early 2000s.

The number of organic producers worldwide reached 2.7 million in 2016. India remains the country with the most producers. They are 835,200. India is followed by Uganda with 210,352 producers and Mexico with 210,000 producers. 

Numbers of producers, Top 3 countries:

The global organic market is constantly growing. In 2016, the global market for organic food reached $89.7 billions. The leading country in the organic sector is the United States with €39.8 billions, followed by Germany (€9.5 billions), France (€6.7 billions) and China (€5.9 billions). All these important markets have strong growth each year, and France has even achieved a growth rate of 22% from 2015 to 2016. But it isn't the countries where markets are most important that people consume the most organic products. Indeed, it is in Switzerland that consumption per capita and per year is the largest, reaching €274. Denmark is also noted for having the highest organic market share, reaching 9.7% of the total market for organic food. 

Governments have a very important role in the development of organic agriculture in their country. In addition, for several years, public-private partnerships have proliferated on all continents.

In Europe, an action plan was adopted in 2014. It must be implemented by 2020 and targets the competitiveness of organic producers, consumer confidence and trade with third countries. The expected results of this action plan are the increase in production and demand within the European Union as well as the development of international trade.

In 2014 in the United States, the Farm Bill provides support for certification of organic products, a research program, a modernization of the organic program, an update of standards and an obligation to provide reference prices specific to all products. organic productions. In Canada in 2015, the government decided to support companies in conversion to organic farming.

In Asia, many initiatives are taken to develop organic farming such as the state of Sikkim in India which became completely organic in early 2016, the Taiwan Agricultural Council which plans to triple the organic cultivated areas or the Bhutan's ambition to become totally organic.

In Brazil, an organic week has been organized every year since 2005. There is also financial support for organic farming in Mexico and Peru.

In Oceania, the POETCom, Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community, was created in 2012. It organizes training courses in organic agriculture and develops strategic plans to promote organic farming and ensure food security for Pacific Islanders.

In conclusion, organic industry grows from year to year. The number of farmland as well as producers increase greatly since the beginning of the 21st century on every continent. Consumers have realized the importance of their health and the benefits of organic products, and governments are implementing numerous programs around the world to encourage organic production and demand.