The European Commission has published a brief outlining the importance of the organic farming sector. Recent production and market trends show the importance that organics has gained over the last decade. Organic farming responds to a specific consumer demand for sustainable food products, promoting more sustainable farming practices and contributing to the protection of the environment and improved animal welfare. This growing demand for organic products is matched by a rapidly growing production: EU organic area has increased by 70 % in the last ten years and organic retail sales reached €34 billion in 2017, providing farmers with further added value on their production.
The organic sector responds to an increasing desire for sustainable food production, and as such, it fits perfectly under the CAP objectives. At the same time, it provides higher prices to farmers. Over the next years, improved farming practices and increased use of technology and digitalisation have the potential to reduce production costs, with positive impacts on farm income and consumer prices.
The strong growth rates in both production and consumption indicate that the organic market has not yet reached its maturity stage and further growth can still be expected. Organic farming is already responding to further emerging consumer trends such as veganism and demand for locally produced food products, turning these challenges into opportunities.