Despite an increase in the amount of land farming organic produce within the European Union – about 4.3 per cent of total land cultivated – the organic sector makes up a mere two per cent of total food expenditure of EU consumers and even less among the union’s new members.
However, there are high percentages of organic farmland in Austria, Sweden, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Latvia. In all about 197,000 farms are involved in organic food production.
The Commission reports that the production and export/import of organic goods will continue to increase in most countries, despite the economic downturn and less disposable income for consumers.
The growth in the amount of land cultivated reflects the slight increase in demand. It is a sector the EU supports with bigger subsidies for those farmers who opt for organic status as opposed to more traditional farming methods.