The term “organic” broadly applies to a method of crop and livestock production that involves abstaining from the use of pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic farming, which arose after the industrialization of agriculture in the 1900s, aims at protecting the environment, preserving the soil nutrients and maintaining biological diversity within the system. In addition, it promotes the use of crop rotation and cover crops, and stimulates a balanced host-predator relationship.
The boom in the organic agriculture industry is accompanied by a positive growing trend in the organic food market in Europe. In fact, the organic retail sales value in 2015 amounted to 29.8 billion euros, Demand for organic foods is also on the rise, primarily driven by personal health choices and the adoption of certain diets. As of 2015, the per capita consumption of organic food was highest in Switzerland at around 262.2 euros.
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