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UK: Organic Statistics 2009

The latest National Statistics produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Defra on the organic farming sector were released on 29 July 2010. This release shows information gathered during 2009 for organic crops and livestock produced in the United Kingdom, and the numbers of organic producers / processors who are registered with Organic Certification Bodies in the UK.


The key results are

  • Land areas
    At a UK level the total organic land area has shown very little change over the last year, with a 1 percent decrease between 2008 and 2009. The cereals area has seen a modest increase of 5 percent to 60,000 hectares, while the vegetables area (including potatoes) has shown a small decrease of 4 percent over the year to 18,900 hectares. Temporary and permanent pasture land make up the majority of organic land and have shown little change between 2008 and 2009, with temporary pasture showing a slight decrease of 3 percent to 126,200 hectares and permanent pasture remaining static at 495,800 hectares.
  • Livestock numbers
    Generally, organic livestock numbers have showed a downturn between 2008 and 2009 with only cattle showing an increase. The pig sector showed a sharp decrease of 32 percent to 48,000 following unprecedented growth in 2008. Organic poultry numbers showed a decrease of 9 percent to 4 million as consumer demand fell. Cattle numbers for the UK have increased by 4 percent to 331 thousand. Sheep numbers for 2009 are 885'000. Defra is unable to provide historical data for sheep at the moment as they are investigating some inconsistencies in the historical data and will publish these results as soon as they are available.
  • Producer/processor numbers
    The number of organic producer / processors has shown a slight decrease (4 percent) to almost 7,600 at the end of 2009. All UK regions have shown decreases with the North West showing the largest percentage drop of 9 percent. 

More information


Editor's note

The total figures communicated by Defra differ from the FiBL data as FiBL deducts the forest areas for the calcuation of the organic agricultural land. Furthermore the Defra figures differ from the Eurostat data in a number of details. FiBL is in the process of trying to clarify the reasons for this.

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