Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Global Organic Agriculture: Continued Growth

IFOAM and FiBL present new facts and figures about organic agriculture worldwide at the BioFach World Organic Trade Fair 2009 in Nuremberg, Germany

(Bonn, Frick, Nuremberg, February 18, 2009) The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) will present the latest statistics about organic agriculture worldwide at BioFach 2009. The results of the study titled 'The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2009' will be presented at the world's largest trade fair for organic products on Friday, February 20th 2009, at 10 a.m. in Room Shanghai of the Messezentrum Nürnberg.

32.2 million hectares are certified according to organic standards (data as at the end of 2007). "Compared to the data of the previous survey, 1.5 million hectares more were reported", says Helga Willer of FiBL. "At the level of the geographical regions, growth was strongest in Latin America and Africa."

"The growth in developing countries shows that organic agriculture can contribute to meaningful socio-economic and ecologically sustainable development, especially in poorer countries," notes Diane Bowen, IFOAM's Interim Executive Director.

With its vast grazing lands, Australia continues to account for the largest certified organic surface area, 12 million hectares, followed by Argentina (2.8 million hectares), and Brazil (1.8 million hectares). The greatest share of the global organic surface area is in Oceania (37.6 percent), followed by Europe (24.1 percent) and Latin America (19.9 percent). In terms of certified land under organic management as a proportion of national agricultural area, the Alpine countries, such as Austria (13.4 percent) and Switzerland (11 percent), top the statistics. The global market for organic products reached a value of over 46 billion US Dollars in 2007, 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' are presented for the tenth consecutive year at BioFach. In addition to the chapter on organic agriculture worldwide, the book contains completely revised reports about the emerging trends in the geographical regions as well as background information on issues like standards and legislation, food security or the activities of UN organizations. The study includes comprehensive data sets and numerous illustrations and graphs. Further data are available at the newly launched homepage.

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 performance of the global survey and production of the yearbook, carried out by IFOAM, FiBL and the German Foundation Ecology & Agriculture SÖL, since 2000.

This press release is available at

© 2009 IFOAM - All rights reserved.
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)

Get Local

Find News and Action for your state: