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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Area under organic farming / Area under organic farming (CSI 026) - Assessment published Nov 2005

Area under organic farming (CSI 026) - Assessment published Nov 2005

Generic metadata

Topics:

Agriculture Agriculture (Primary topic)

Biodiversity Biodiversity

Tags:
agriculture | csi
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 026
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1985-2002
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: What are the environmentally-relevant key trends in agricultural production systems?

Key messages

The share of organic farming is increasing strongly and now stands at about 4 % of agricultural area in the fifteen older EU Member States and the EFTA countries. EU agri-environment programmes and consumer demand have been key factors for this strong increase. The share of organic land remains far below 1 % in most of the ten new Member States and the accession countries.

Organic farming area in Europe

Note: The figure shows the organic farming area in Europe

Data source:

Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Downloads and more info

Share of organic farming area in total utilised agricultural area

Note: The figure shows the share of organic farmong area in total utilised agricultural area 1990 and 2002

Data source:

Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

  • The share of organic farming is far higher in northern and central European countries than in other parts of Europe - with the exception of Italy. The share is particularly low in most new EU Member States and the accession countries. The overall distribution seems to be influenced by the presence of consumer demand for organic products and government support in the form of agri-environment schemes and other measures.
  • There is considerable regional variation of the share of organic farming within individual countries.
  • Recent literature reviews provide information on the environmental impacts of organic agriculture compared to conventional management systems but results are not always unambiguous. The environmental benefits of organic farming are most clearly documented for biodiversity as well as for water and soil conservation. However, there is no clear evidence of reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It needs to be taken into account that organic agriculture is likely to have a more positive environmental impact in areas with highly intensive agriculture than in low-input farming systems. However, so far the regional uptake of organic farming is concentrated in extensive grassland regions, where fewer changes are needed to convert to organic farming than is the case in intensive, arable farming dominated regions, where the benefits would be higher.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Karina Makarewicz

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Filed under: ,

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100