Market

As the acreage grows in size, so does the organic market. The total value in 2002 was about US$20 billion and it has increased to around US$60 in 2009.

Growth patterns for countries and for products differ a lot. In countries like Denmark, Austria and Switzerland the organic market share is in the range of 4-8 percent of the total food market, while it is some 2-4 percent in Germany, and France.

Like in many countries, the market for organic food dropped significantly during 2009 due to the financial crisis but is now recovering.

The market shares for different products can vary a lot within a country. In The UK for example the market share for organic dairy is 33 percent while it is just three percent for organic bread and bakery. Likewise, organic coffee sales make up 6 percent or the coffee market in Sweden but for organic tea, the market share is less than one percent.

There are also a number of developing countries that have local organic markets. The value of the domestic organic market in China is estimated to more than 1 billion USD. Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Thailand are other examples of quite successful local market development.

Market data from 2009 is mainly based on figures from The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Emerging Trends 2011 Willer, Helga and Lukas Kilcher (Eds.) (2011)

PRODUCTION

It is not possible to make simple statements about the production levels and potentials in organic farming. A rough overview of how a conversion to organic agriculture will affect yields shows the following:

In industrial agriculture (Western Europe, US etc.) conversion to organic agriculture normally leads to lower yields, often in the range of 15 %.
In Green Revolution agriculture (irrigated lands in Asia, Mexico) conversion to organic agriculture leads to equal yields.
In less developed agriculture (small farmers, traditional agriculture) organic farming leads to increased yields.