ORGANIC FOOD IN EU MARKETS
In the last 30 years, we have seen a rise in organic farming methods in the EU thanks to targeted policies, with overall growth in the market itself. In 2020, the EU’s total area of farmland under organic production grew to 14.9 million hectares. A consistent growth of the EU’s organic retail market followed, marked by a record growth of 15.1%.
With dynamic growth rates in most EU countries, the EU’s organic market has increased positive development due to growing policy support from the European Union, combined with growing demand from consumers for more sustainable, pesticide-free products. Moreso, the pandemic had a general impact on purchasing patterns, where consumers turned to products that could favor a general state of well-being.
The European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy mentions organic as a key sector to achieve the European Green Deal’s food ambitions. The strategy states that “The market for organic food is set to continue growing and organic farming needs to be further promoted”. As part of this strategy, the Commission published the 2021-2027 Organic Action Plan, which aims at boosting both organic demand and supply.
Part and parcel of these initiatives are the Organicity Project which aims to promote European Organically Certified products to markets where they are still largely unknown, like Southeast Asia, and to increase them in better-known markets such as the USA.
From a sustainable point of view, it is interesting to note that the Farm to Fork strategy foresees that the Commission will put forward a legislative framework on sustainable food systems in 2023. This will aim at supporting the transition towards more sustainable food systems based on a whole series of specific criteria; an aim to protect biodiversity, animals, the planet, and the environment. Attention towards labeling requirements, and conditions and raising awareness are all part of this legislative package.
The Organicity Project is geared towards sustaining these principles, raising awareness, and helping promote EU Organically Certified products so that these best practices can be shared around the world.