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Latest organic stats show growth

Date Published: 03/09/2009

Okay, at three per cent land area it’s not huge growth. But the latest figures from the statisticians at Defra show stability Defra logoand small progress in organics, rather than stagnation or decline.

You can read the report for yourself [click on ‘latest release’ for PDF download], but the headlines are quite straightforward:

  • Organic cattle: +28%
  • Organic sheep: +37%
  • Organic pigs: +41%
  • Organic poultry: -2%
  • Cereals area: +10%
  • Vegetables area: +16%
  • Total producers/processors: +4%

As with all statistics, there is more of a story behind many of these figures. The report does explain that some changes in recording have affected the total hectares, for instance.

The figure for pigs may be a bit of a surprise. It’s not entirely clear what’s behind that (your suggestions welcome in the comments) but the poultry figure is possibly surprising only in that it’s not a larger drop.

All-in-all, these stats are reassuring. They reflect a state of the industry as we, here at OF&G, recognise it. The figures in the report run to the end of 2008 and, the way things are currently with the economy, there could be fluctuations to those figures already in the first half of 2009. That said, our own experience to this point in the year tallies loosely with the picture the statistics are painting for last year.

The report contains plenty of breakdowns by product, land area, region, etc. which make for interesting reading.

If you’re planning to take a look at the stats yourself, fear not – it’s a ten-page summary that won’t send you wonky-eyed trying to follow it!