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Organic food: per capita spending in selected countries in Europe 2018

The per capita spending on organic food in Europe varies depending on the country in question. In 2018, organic food purchases were highest in Switzerland and Denmark with 312 euros spent per person. The EU average came to 76 euros. Eastern European countries show the lowest spending, with Estonia, the Eastern European country with the highest per capita spending, still below half of the EU average.

What qualifies as organic food?

Food products must adhere to certain national standards to be considered organic. Most commonly, this means the food is grown and processed without being subjected to synthetic compounds such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and food additives. This extends to the land which the produce is grown on, which needs to be free of prohibited chemicals for multiple years in a row. Livestock also must adhere to specific feeding, housing and breeding requirements. Further restrictions may apply. Worldwide these vary strongly form nation to nation.
In the European Union products need to be certified and specific labels for products exist to inform the consumer that the product adheres to EU standards. In 2017, this label (a green rectangle that shows twelve stars that form the outline of a leaf) was only recognized by 27 percent of respondents.

Organic market in the EU

Between 2014 and 2018 organic retail sales in the EU and the entirety of Europe have seen strong growth. Every year in that period saw the EU market grow by 3.4 to 3.5 billion Euros. Germany was the leading market with just under 11 billion generated in organic sales. However, the largest share of organic products can be found on the Danish market.

Per capita spending on organic food in selected countries in Europe in 2018

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Release date

February 2020



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Supplementary notes

The source notes that: "Where not published data exists, best estimates from experts have been used, but new data were not available for all countries. Therefore, in some cases earlier estimates are shown. Values published in national currencies were converted to euros using the 2018 average annual exchange rates according to the Central European bank."

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