Press Releases

October 2010

Market report: Upward trend in the international organic market

Worldwide organic sales top 50 billion US dollars a year

Markets on the up again

Sustainability and a healthy and organic lifestyle are still in great demand and worldwide sales of organic food, natural cosmetics and eco textiles are growing appreciably again. Once a year, the World Organic Trade Fair BioFach and the parallel Vivaness, Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care and Wellness, gather the international organic sector in Nürnberg – the last time with 2,557 exhibitors and 43,669 trade visitors. The exhibition duo takes place next time from 16–19 February 2011, when some 2,500 exhibitors are expected again, including 180 at Vivaness.


The international organic market has successfully defied the crisis. Growth continued in Europe and the USA with only slight losses. Only Great Britain showed a noticeable loss. The international organic market topped the 50-billion-US-dollar limit for the first time back in 2008 with 50.9 billion US dollars. Experts currently expect more growth.

USA: sales of organic food at 24.8 billion US dollars
Sales of organic food in the USA continued to grow in 2009. The American Organic Trade Association OTA (USA) is very satisfied with the 5 % growth in view of the overall economic situation. Organic food worth a total of 24.8 billionUS dollars was sold last year. The conventional market grew by only just under 2 % in the same period.

Europe´s biggest organic markets: Germany, France and Great Britain
Europe is one of the world’s biggest organic markets besides the USA. 10 % growth was achieved here in 2008 with sales of some 18 billion EUR, reports Agrarmarkt Informationsgesellschaft AMI (D). The leaders – in terms of market size in absolute figures – are Germany, France and Great Britain.

Germany: organic food retail trade up 10 % in the first half-year
According to the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft BÖLW (D) (Federation of the Organic Food Industry), sales in the German organic market amounted to 5.8 billion EUR in 2009. Traditionally strong is the organic food retail trade, where the Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren BNN Herstellung und Handel (D) (German Organic Producers and Traders Association) determined a notable rise of almost 10% in the first half of 2010.

France: 300 new organic farms a month
Experts estimate French organic sales in 2009 at 3 billion EUR, which represents market growth of 400 million EUR over the previous year. This equates to a rise of 15%. The partly state-owned development association Agence Bio (F) expects continuing dynamic development in 2010.

Great Britain: natural cosmetics sector is a powerful motor
The British Soil Association (GB) expects slight growth for 2010. According to its Organic Market Report, organic sales in 2009 dropped by 13 % to 2 billion EUR. 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 EUR.

Fresh wind for organic in Europe
The positive trend is confirmed in many other countries in Europe, such as Austria, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic.
For example, organic sales in Austria reached 984 million EUR in 2009. An impressive 30% more sales were determined in the first four months of 2010 compared with the previous year, according to the marketing agency Agrarmarkt Austria AMA (A). Sales in Italy in 2009 amounted to 2.35 billion EUR, of which exports accounted for 850 million. Sales of processed organic products in Italy rose by 9 % in the first half of 2010, reports the market research institute ISMEA/Nielsen (I). Spain is European champion for the growing area and with 1.33 million ha in 2009 has even overtaken Italy (1.1 million ha), says the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL (CH). The Netherlands registered sales of 647 million EUR and 11 % more organic in 2009, according to the annual organic monitor of the growers association Biologica (NL). The East European countries expanded strongly mainly in terms of growing areas. FiBL reports that Poland could be proud of its 7 % growth to 367,000 ha in 2009. The Czech Republic had already registered 11 % growth over the previous year in summer 2010. The organic share of land at 443,000 ha is now over 10 %, according to the Ministry of Agriculture in Prague.

Thank you for your interest.

With best regards from the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg

Barbara Böck
Ellen Rascher

Tel +49 (0) 9 11.86 06-83 28
Fax +49 (0) 9 11.86 06-82 56