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France: The organic sector continues to grow in 2009

Recently Agence Bio released the latest (2009) figures on organic agriculture in the country. There has been a major increase in both organic land and domestic sales in 2009.

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From 1994 to 2009, the organic farming sector in France has demonstrated consistent growth. During this period, the number of organic farms increased 457 percent and land under organic cultivation increased by 490 percent. Recent data published by Agence Bio shows that in 2009, 3'769 new farms converted to organic farming and in total there were 16'446 organic farms - an increase of 23.7 percent from 2008. Organic land totalled 677'513 hectares (+16 percent from 2008 - the figure includes data from the French overseas departments). In late 2009, the share of organic farms was estimated at 3.14 percent of all French farms and the organically managed agricultural land was 2.5 percent of the utilized agricultural area.

France has, with a population of over 60 million, one of the largest food markets of Europe. In 2009, the market share of organic products reached 1.9 percent of the total food sales. From 2005 to 2009, the turnover of organic food sales has almost doubled from 1.6 billion to 3 billion Euros in just four years. Seventy-five percent of French households shop once a week at a supermarket.

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