The growing markets for organic products in the US and Europe hold good prospects for Indian farmers and exporters.
The global organic market reached a size of $40 billion in 2007 and is growing by about $5 billion a year. It has the potential to rise to 600 billion euro. The US emerged as the largest consumer of organic products in 2007 at $21.2 billion, including $20 billion alone for organic food and drinks. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of organic products in the US are likely to increase to $25 billion in 2008. The area under organic farming is gradually increasing as the Farm Bill 2008 assures to increase the spending on the organic sector from $20 million to $112 million. Germany emerged as the second largest market for organic products in 2007 at 5.3 billion euro.
“Indian farmers need to reap the benefits of the growing global market for organic products. We have already taken up the scheme for promotion of Indian organic products,” said Asit Tripathy, chairman of the Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA).
The Specialised Organic Retail Report-Europe released in May this year shows definite growth for organic markets in all the 27 European Union countries, particularly in the young markets of central and eastern Europe. “International players in the conventional retail food trade, like Carrefour, also stimulate growth and sell their organic products under their own labels in almost all countries,” the report said
According to the Switzerland-based Institute of Organic Agriculture – FIBL- data available at the beginning of September 2008 covering half of EU, shows about 7% growth in the organic market. About 8 million-hectare land is under organic farming in the EU.
Among east European countries, consumption of organic food in the Czech Republic is slated to grow from 51.6 million euro in 2007 to 260 million euro in 2010. Markets for organic products are growing in Poland and Hungary. The organic market in Slovenia is estimated at less than four million euro. Slovenia has its own organic logo – ekoloski – and organic products are on sale in three leading conventional food chains Mercator, Tus and Spar. The organic supermarket Kalcek in Ljubljana is one of the best-stocked shops.
About 77% of the French prefer organic food and spend 43 euro per head per year on organic products. The size of the French organic market in 2007 was…2 billion euro. The organic market in the UK in 2006 was about 3 billion euro and the average British spent 49 euro per head on organic products….