Latest UK organic statistics released by Defra

Date Published: 11/08/2011

Today has seen the publication of the latest statistics on organic production in the UK. We’ve literally just received them, so they bear more examination, but we’ve picked out the key figures to give you a quick, early overview.

Bear in mind these figures are for 2010, because that’s when the information was gathered, by they are the latest available.

  • The total organic land area in the UK has fallen by 3 per cent between 2009 and 2010 (to 718,000 ha)
  • Organic cereals have declined by 5 per cent (to 57,000 ha)
  • Vegetables area (including potatoes) down 5 per cent (to 18,000 ha)
  • Relatively little change in temporary organic pasture, down 1 per cent (to 125,000 ha), with permanent pasture falling by 3 per cent (to 479,000 ha)
  • The number of organic cattle rose by 6 per cent (to 350,000 head)
  • Organic sheep numbers up by 11 per cent (to 981,000 head)
  • Organic pigs down by 4 per cent  (to 47,000 pigs)
  • Poultry down by 2 per cent (to 3.9m birds)
  • Total organic producers and processors saw a slight fall of 4 per cent (to 7,300)

As with all facts and figures, there is a lot more behind all of those results. And despite the majority of them being falls in percentage, the good news is that the decreases have slowed significantly over previous years i.e. it’s not a rout!

There will be more to say about this in coming days and weeks, but for now, those are your headlines. Grab the whole report, in PDF format, from the Defra website.