Organic Farming increasing throughout EuropeIOA Webmaster
A recent Eurostat report shows that Organic farming in the EU27 covered 7.8 million hectares in 2008, up by 7% compared with 2007. Over a longer time period, the data available for the EU25 show an increase of 21% in the total organic area between 2005 and 2008.
Between 2007 and 2008, the total organic area increased in all Member States, for which data are available, except Italy (-13%). The highest increases were recorded in Spain (+33%), Bulgaria (+22%), Slovakia (+19%), Hungary (+15%) and Greece (+14%). For the longer time period between 2005 and 2008, the highest increases were found in Poland (+94%), Lithuania (+89%), Spain (+63%) andBelgium (+57%). Decreases were registered only in Italy (-6%) and Hungary (-5%).
In 2008, the three main uses for organic land in the EU27 were pastures & meadows (44% of the fully converted organic area in the EU27 excluding Germany), arable crops (37%) and permanent crops (10%). The remaining 9% are fallow and unutilised land.
The most important arable crop in the EU27 was cereals (44% of the fully converted organic area under arable crops), followed by green fodder (42%), other arable crops such as dried pulses, potatoes, sugar beet, arable seeds & seedlings (7%), fresh vegetables and industrial crops (both 4%). Cereals were particularly important in Lithuania (79% of the area under arable crops), Portugal (75%) and Ireland (73%), while the highest proportions of green fodder were found in Latvia (67%), Estonia (66%) and Sweden (58%).