International Organic Market on an Upward Trend

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NUREMBERG, Germany—Sustainability and a trend toward a healthy and organic lifestyle are key factors helping propel the $50 billion international organic market, according to new findings presented at the World Organic Trade Fair BioFach.

According to statistics, the international organic market successfully defied the recent economic crisis, and experts expect to see more growth in the near future.

Sales of organic food in the United States continued to grow in 2009, with the American Organic Trade Association (OTA) estimating a 5-percent growth to $24.8 billion. The conventional market grew by only just under 2 percent in the same period.

The European organic market saw 10-percent growth with sales of €18 billion, reported Agrarmarkt Informationsgesellschaft AMI. Europe’s biggest organic markets include Germany, France and Great Britain.

According to the Federation of the Organic Food Industry, sales in the German organic market amounted to €5.8 billion in 2009. Traditionally strong is the organic food retail trade, where the German Organic Producers and Traders Association determined a notable rise of almost 10 percent in the first half of 2010.

Experts estimate French organic sales grew 15 percent in 2009 to €3 billion, which represents market growth of €400 million over the previous year. The partly state-owned development association Agence Bio expects continuing dynamic development in 2010.

The British Soil Association expects slight growth for 2010. According to its Organic Market Report, organic sales in 2009 dropped by 13 percent to €2 billion. The natural cosmetics segment was not affected by the temporary reluctance to buy and grew by one-third to achieve sales of some €40 million.

Austria, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic all are experiencing an upward tick in organic sales and the number of new organic farms.

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