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EU organic area reaches 10.5% of agricultural land, but falls short of 2030 target…

The EU’s Farm to Fork strategy, the agri-food branch of the European Green Deal, aims for 25% of farmland to be organic by 2030…

Land used for organic agricultural production accounted for 10.5% of the EU’s total farmland in 2022, according to data released by Eurostat on 19 June.

The Eurostat report highlighted a massive 79% increase in organic farmland between 2012 and 2022.

“This latest data confirm the continuation of a fast and sharp expansion in organic areas in the EU,” wrote Eurostat.

Despite this growth, the EU is not on track to meet its 2030 target.

The EU’s Farm to Fork strategy, the agri-food branch of the European Green Deal, aims for 25% of farmland to be organic by 2030.

However, the European Environment Agency (EEA) noted in a 2023 report that the EU would need to almost double its current progress rate to reach this goal.

If the current growth rate continues, the EU will achieve only a 15% share of organic farming by 2030, said the EEA.

According to the Eurostat report, France leads with the highest number of organic hectares among EU countries, 2.9 million in 2022, accounting for 17% of the bloc’s total, followed by Spain (2.7 million hectares), Italy (2.3 million) and Germany (1.6 million).

These four nations accounted for 56% of the EU’s total organic area in 2022.

The countries with the highest shares of organic area were Austria (27%), Estonia (23%) and Sweden (20%), followed by Portugal, Italy, Czechia and Latvia, each with levels between 15% and 20%.

Eric Gall

In contrast, Ireland, Bulgaria, and Malta had less than 5% of their land under organic farming in 2022.

Poland was the only EU country to see a decline in organic farmland over the past decade, with a 15.4% decrease.

Most of the EU’s organic land is used for cultivating arable crops like cereals, root crops, vegetables, permanent grasslands, and permanent crops such as fruit trees, olive groves, and vineyards.

Organic animal farming has also increased, despite an overall decline in EU livestock numbers. In 2022, 4.4% of the EU’s cow herd, 10.4% of sheep, and 12.7% of goats were reared organically.

Reacting to the latest figures, Eric Gall, director of organic industry lobby IFOAM, praised organics as an “essential policy tool to make agriculture more sustainable.”

“It is good news for the environment and farmers that organic production has continued to grow in 2022,” he told Euractiv.

However, he stressed the need to support the organic market, as sales started to fall in 2021 after a decade of steady growth, advocating for public procurement and market regulation tools as outlined in the EU’s action plan for the organic sector.

By Sofia Sanchez Manzanaro,

Agrifood Journalist,

Location: Brussels
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Catalan
Expertise: Agrifood
Location Expertise: Lyon, Brussels

(Edited by Angelo Di Mambro and Rajnish Singh)

Source: euractiv.com

About İsmail Uğural

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