Latvia sixth in the EU for organic farming / Article

The area used for organic agricultural production in the EU covered 14.7 million hectares in 2020, compared to 9.5 million hectares in 2012, an increase of 56%. In 2020, the total organic area of ​​the EU corresponded to 9.1% of the total utilized agricultural area (UAA).

Between 2012 and 2020, the share of agricultural area used for organic farming increased in all EU Member States except Poland.

In 2020, the highest shares of organic agricultural land in the total UAA were in Austria (25%), Estonia (22%) and Sweden (20%). In contrast, the share of organic farming was below 5% in eight EU Member States, with the lowest shares in Ireland and Malta.

Latvia has carved out a place among the top nations, with 14.7% of its agricultural area classified as organic, up from 10.63% in 2012.

In 2020, in 8 EU Member States (Lithuania, Netherlands, Czechia, Sweden, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg), more than 90% of organic crop areas were declared certified. The other 14 EU member states had ‘certified organic’ shares between 70% and 90%. The lowest shares of certified areas were recorded for Hungary (64.1%), Malta (61.2%) and Romania (58.9%), which means that there is a strong potential for growth additional certified area in these countries over the next few years. Due to the agricultural land conversion period of 2 to 3 years, a high share of area in conversion is necessary to avoid a stagnation in the growth of certified organic area.

Latvia is particularly successful in organic farming. The 2020 figures for organic livestock as a proportion of all livestock showed that in some EU Member States remarkably large shares of cattle, sheep and goats were reared organically, cattle and sheep and goats being the most popular species. There were over 4.5 million organic cattle in the EU out of a total of 76.5 million cattle declared in 2020.

Greece had the largest share of organic cattle (30.3%) and the second largest share of organic dairy cows (21.8%). Austria and Latvia had the largest share of organic “sheep and goats” (36.0% each in their sheep and goat population), while Latvia also ranked second for the largest share of the biological cattle population (25.6%). Austria had the highest share of organic dairy cows (22.0%), followed by Greece (21.8%) and Sweden (18.8%).

Organic farming in the EU, 2020

Photo: Eurostat

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