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Organic Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean 2010 (Data 2008)

In Latin America, 260’000 producers managed 8.1 million hectares of agricultural land organically in 2008. This constitutes 23 percent of the world’s organic land. The leading countries are Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

The highest shares of organic agricultural land are in the Falkland Islands (37 percent), French Guiana,  the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. 

Most organic products from Latin American countries are sold on the European, North American or Japanese markets. Popular goods are especially those that cannot be produced in these regions, as well as off-season products. 

Important crops are tropical fruits, grains and cereals, coffee, cocoa, sugar, and meats. Most organic food sales in the domestic markets of the countries occur in major cities, such as Buenos Aires and São Paulo. Eighteen countries have legislation on organic farming, and three additional countries are currently developing organic regulations.

Costa Rica and Argentina have both attained Third Country status according to the EU regulation on organic farming. The types of support in Latin American countries range from organic agriculture promotion programs to market access support by export agencies. In a few countries, limited financial support is being given to pay certification costs during the conversion period. An important process underway in many Latin America countries is the establishment of regulations and standards for the organic sector. (For more information and detailed statistics see chapter on Latin America by Salvador Garibay and Roberto Ugas in The World of Organic Agriculture, edtion 2010, page 160).

More information

Contact

Dr. Salvador Garibay
Development and cooperation
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL
Ackerstrasse 113
5070 Frick
Switzerland
Tel. +41 865 7272
Fax +41 865 7282
salvador.garibay(at)fibl.org
www.fibl.org