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Organic food market in Europe - Statistics and Facts

The organic food industry in Europe is a lucrative market, with a retail sales value of 29.8 billion euros in 2015. While the well-established Western European market experienced growth of 5.4 percent between 2015 and 2016, Eastern European sales are catching up with a growth rate of 8.8 percent in the same period. Germany is the leading market for organic products in Europe with a 11.4 percent share of global organic sales, followed by France with 7.3 percent.

Even though sales are booming, the state of organic production is yet to catch up with demand: organic farmland as a proportion of all farmland area rarely exceeds 15 percent in the majority of countries. Similarly, organic meat production is only a miniscule share of overall livestock, particularly in the case of pork at only 0.6 percent. Nevertheless, arable organic crop production in Europe is centered around cereals, while permanent crops are predominantly made up of olives and grapes.

Although Germany has the largest market for organic food, the highest levels of per capita consumption can be found in Switzerland and the Nordic countries. European consumers have high levels of awareness for organic claims at 61 percent, with a further 11 percent actively seeking such products. Furthermore, increasing numbers are buying more organic food and drink products, with a relatively equal proportion willing to pay a premium for an organic claim. Avenues for purchase tend to be general retailers or specialized organic retailers, while the appeal of various products differs between countries: the United Kingdom has the largest market for organic fish, for instance, whereas organic confectionery launches are concentrated in Germany.

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