Inormation about the data

Information about the data on organic agriculture worldwide and in Europe and the data collection process

Introduction

On this website, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL presents key data on organic agriculture worldwide.*

The data in the tables on this website were compiled by FiBL based data from national sources (statistical offices, governments, private sector), from certifiers, Eurostat. The European data were collected in cooperation with the Agricultural Market Information Company AMI and the OrganicDataNetwork project (www.organicdatanetwork.net; data 2011 to 2013), for the Mediterranean countries, the Mediterranean Organic Agriculture Network (MOAN).( FiBL Survey on Organic Agriculture Worldwide – Metadata).

The data collection is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SEC), the International Tade Centre (ITC); NürnbergMesse (the organisers of the annual BIOFACH organic trade fair),  and IFOAM - Organics International.

*The data shown here might differ from those in the various editions of the staistics yearbook  The World of Organic Agriculture as data revisions are included

Notes on data

Database related issues

Please note that we are currently updating the information on the data sources and the specific remarks on the data.

  • *: If numbers have an asterisk that means that there is a specific explanation for this number. In a separate document, we provide the relevant explanations. (Notes on data, currently updated).
  • Data sources: Our document on data sources is currently updated.
  • Data year: Not all countries provide regular data updates. Our document on the data year is currently updated.

Work on our online database is in progress, and we are working to solve some issues that need improvement. These include

  • Several numbers for one indicator/year/country in once cell: For some countries, FiBL compiles the data among several sources, and in order to be able to identify the source, data is not summed up. In such cases, the individual data is shown. We are working on this problem and hope to be able to make the database more user friendly soon.
  • We have not yet sölved the problem how show the global or regional totals separately. For the time being these totals are included in the country lists.

General notes

  • Countries: For countries and areas, FiBL uses, in most cases,  the names of countries and areas as provided by the United Nations Statistics Division. Where the designation "country" appears, it covers countries, areas or territories. (See http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49alpha.htm)
  • Data sources: Data were gathered from organizations of the private sector, governments, and certification bodies. For detailed information on the data sources, please see detailed documents.
  • Direct year-to-year comparison: A direct year-to-year comparison is not always possible, as the data sources may change or data access becomes better. Furthermore, for market and trade values fluctuating exchange rates must be born in mind.
  • Completeness of data: For some countries either no current data were available, or the data provided may not be complete, and for some countries no data were available. It may, therefore, be assumed that the extent of organic agriculture is larger than documented on this website.
  • Up-to-dateness of data: Please note when using the data, when no new data were available, the data from the previous year were used. (See our document on the data year).
  • Data revisions: Data revisions and corrections are carried out on a constant base, and our tables are updated accordingly.
  • Negative values. In some cases, there may be negative values. This is used in order to account for areas with double cropping as otherwise the overall total would be incorrect.
  • Definitions can vary from country to country. (e.g., the indicator "animals [heads]" may refer to the animals slaughtered in a year or the number of places).
  • Comparability of data: due to the reasons mentioned above, data are often not comparable, and this should be borne in mind when analysing the data.

Area data

  • Organic areas: Data represent certified land/areas that are already fully converted as well as land under conversion, since many data sources do not separate or include the latter (for instance Australia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland), and since land under conversion is under organic management.
  • Conversion status: Not for all countries information on the conversion status is available (e.g., Germany). Some countries only provide data on the fully converted land (e.g., United States). For some countries data are collated from several certifiers, some of which provided information on the conversion status, whereas others do not (e.g., Ethiopia). Therefore, neither at a country/regional level and at a crop level, the sum given for land under conversion and the fully converted land necessarily adds up to the total land under organic management. Hence, the indicator "Area" refers to the fully converted and in-conversion organic area.
  • Share of total agricultural land: In some cases, the calculation of the shares of organically managed land, based on the Eurostat and FAOSTAT data, might differ from the organic shares obtained from ministries or local experts.

Crop data

  • Comparison data with the overall total for the crop data  (from FAOSTAT) may use different nomenclatures/definitions and comparisons are not always possible.
  • Furthermore, in some cases, the areas may refer to agroforestry areas, where the provided crop surfaces are the total surface of the agroforestry system, including shade trees and other crops. Such cases are difficult to compare with data on the effective crop area. This may also explain why sometimes the shares of certain organic crops of all crops in a country are particularly high.
  • Classification challenges: Sometimes for crops/crop groups specified as "other", "no details", the allocation to a certain group by country or over the years may change, hence data are often not comparable.
  • For permanent grassland/pasture and meadows and temporary grassland, the allocation to one of these groups may vary from year to year between within one country; hence a direct year-to-year comaprison is often not possible.
  • In some cases there may be negative values. This is used in order to account for areas with double cropping as otherwise the overall total would be incorrect.
  • The level of detail by crop/crop group provided by the countries may vary from year to year; again this makes a direct year-to-yar comparison often impossible.

Production data

  • "Production volume" refers in most cases to the production from the fully converted land; this has to be taken into account when comparing the organic area and production with the total area and production (shares for area might differ substantially for that of the production)
  • "Production volume" may refer to the actual production volume or to the volume that was marketed; thus data are not always comparable. The indicators "Area [%]" and "Production [%]" show the comparison with a country's overall total for a crop.
  • Comparison data with the overall total (from FAOSTAT) may use different nomenclatures/definition and comparisons are not always possible.
  • The total area/production in order to calculate the organic shares were taken from FAOSTAT (see http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/default.aspx#ancor)

Producer and other operators

  • Producers: Some countries report the number of smallholders, and others only the number of companies, projects or grower groups, which may each comprise a number of producers.

Market data

  • Fluctuating exchange rates: Growth rates for one country (e.g., UK) and the comparison with others may be distorted.
  • Existing data are sometimes not complete, and the level of completeness varies from country to country or even within one country over the years. This is due to different methodologies of data collection. Therefore a country-to-country comparison is not always possible; this applies particularly to production data, retail sales, exports, and imports.
  • Special care should be taken when using retail sales data by commodity: for most countries, not all products are covered, and often the numbers also for the covered products are not complete. 
  • Data classifications and aggregations can differ from country to country, making comparisons difficult.
  • For countries that do not use the euro, values were converted to euros. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, data are therefore not comparable over the years for these countries.
  • Please also note when using the data, when no new data were available, the data from the previous year were used. (See details in the separate file on data year).

Indicators used (named "elements" in interactive tables)

Please note that currently we are not presenting all data in the interactive table. We are aiming to supply data on all indictors listed below in the future.

Animals

  • Animals [heads]
    Number (heads of animals)
  • Beehives [no]   
    Number of beehives

Area

Total organic area

  • Organic area (farmland) [ha]
    Total  organic agricultural area
  • Organic area share of total farmland [%]
    Organic share of total farmland

Organic area by crop

  • Organic area [ha]
    Organic area, both in conversion and fully converted by crop
  • Organic area fully converted [ha]
    Organic area fully converted by crop
  • Organic area under conversion [ha]
    Area under conversion by crop
  • Organic area share [%]
    Organic share of total crop area

Exports and imports

Total organic exports and imports

  • Organic exports [Million €]
    All organic exports in million Euros, no breakdown by commodity 
  • Organic imports [Million €]
    All organic imports in million euros

Exports and imports by product

  • Export [Mio €]   
    Export value by individual crops/products in euros
  • Export [Mio €], share [%]   
    Share of organic export value by crop/product of total exports
  • Export [mt]   
    Export volume in metric tons  by commodity
  • Import [Mio €]   
    Import value in euros by commodity 
  • Import [Mio €], share [%]   
    Share of import value by crop/product of total imports
  • Import [t]   
    Import volume in metric tons by crop/product

Operators

  • Organic exporters   
    The natural or legal person  who exports to a third country organic products with a view to the subsequent marketing (Eurostat definition)
  • Organic importers   
    The natural or legal person who presents a consignment for release for free circulation into the Community (Eurostat definition)
  • Organic processors   
    Operator who preserves and/or processes organic agricultural products (incl. Slaughtering and butchering) and aquaculture products; Packaging and labelling as organic is also considered as processing (Eurostat definition)
  • Organic producers   
    Production unit operated under a single management for the purpose of producing agricultural product (Eurostat definition)

Production

  • Production [Mio €]   
    Production value by crop/product
  • Production [t]   
    Production volume by crop/product
  • Production [t]: Share [%]   
    Share of the production volume of the total production
  • Production, all [Mio €]   
    All organic production (by country) in million Euros
  • Production, all [t]   
    All organic production (by country) in metric tons

Retail sales

Total

  • Organic per capita consumption [€/person]
    Per capita consumption in Euros for all retail sales
  • Organic retail sales Million €]   
    All organic retail sales in million Euros
  • Organic retail sales Growth value 1 year [%]   
    All organic domestic retail sales - Growth in value (euros) in 1 year
  • Organic retail sales value [%]   
    Organic share of total retail sales  in value

Retail sales by product

  • Retail sales [Million €]   
    Retail sales by product in million Euros
  • Retail sales [Million €]: Share [%]   
    Share of total retail sales value by product
  • Retail sales [MT]   
    Domestic retail sales volume in metric tons by product/crop
  • Retail sales [MT]: Share [%]   
    Share of organic domestic retail sales volume by crop/product in metric tons

Copyright/Using the data

The data on organic agriculture worldwide shown on this internet site are copyrighted by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and are provided for internal use only. Individual numbers may, however, be used if the source is stated. Larger data extracts (more than 100 datasets) may not be re-disseminated without written permission of FiBL (see contact). All references to the data will have to be mentioned with the proper URL and the access date.

Please quote the tables as follows:

FiBL (20xx): Data on organic agriculture 20xx-2016. The Statistics.FiBL.org website maintained by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland. Data are available at http://statistics.fibl.org/world.html.

Contact

All questions related to the data and the data tables should be directed to Julia Lernoud or Helga Willer of FiBL.