The Organic Market in Europe
Globally, the organic market reached 54.9 billion US dollars in 2009. A large part of the turnover was in Europe (48 percent) and in North America (48.1 percent). Since 1999 (15.2 billion US dollars), the global market for organic products more than trebled (Sahota 2011).
In Europe, the turnover of organic food and drink (general retail sales, specialised shops, farmer to consumer direct sales, etc.) was 18.4 billion euros in 2009. Germany had 5.8 billion euros, followed by France with 3 billion euros, the UK (2.1 billion), Italy (1.5 billion) and Switzerland (1 billion).
In 2009 the highest market shares – with more than five percent of the total market – were reached in Denmark (7.2 percent), Austria (6 percent) and Switzerland (5.2 percent). While organic land has expanded rapidly in many new EU member states, as well as in candidate and potential EU candidate countries, consumption levels have remained very low in these countries and the organic market accounts for less than one percent of the total food market. In spite of the financial crisis, the European organic market continued to grow in 2009, particularly in France (+19 percent), but also in the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Austria. However in most countries, growth rates were smaller than in 2008 due to the financial crisis and decrease in food prices. In Germany the turnover of organic products remained stable and in the UK the market volume decreased by 12.9 percent. There are, however, signs that in 2010 the organic market recovered, growing at single-digit rates.