More than 24 million organic hectares worldwide

February 17, 2004, IFOAM: Currently more than 24 million hectares of farmland are under organic management worldwide, according to a study by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, the Foundation for Ecology & Farming, Germany, and the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture. Australia leads with approximately 10 million ha, followed by Argentina with almost 3 million ha and Italy with more than 1 million ha.

The percentage of total agricultural area that is farmed organically is highest in Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries. In Switzerland for example ten percent of the agricultural land is managed organically.

In 2002, the market value of organic products worldwide reached US$23 billion, the largest share of organic products being marketed in Europe and North America. For the upcoming years, ongoing "healthy" growth is expected.

The new study, The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2004, will be released at BioFach 2004 in Nuremberg, Germany, the world's leading fair for organic products, on Friday, February 20. The 2004 edition is the fifth to be released at BioFach. Apart from the impressive collection of figures and illustrations, the study features a completely updated chapter on the market situation and emerging trends for several continents. Furthermore, the chapters on standards and certification include a wealth of new information.

Published in English, the study can be accessed via the internet at: http://www.soel.de/oekolandbau/weltweit.html