Organic Farming in Europe: Situation and Prospects
This article analyses the current position, the issues and prospects of organic farming in the world and particularly in Europe. A first section asserts the weakness of the current world organic market (less than 1% of the food market), but also its strong growth over recent years. In Europe the sales of organic produce, very variable according to countries, remain, on the whole, (very) modest per head though they are on the increase. Consumer motivations mostly connect with health, the environment, taste, animal welfare. A second section looks at the increase of organic farmland in the world, in Europe and in France, along with a rapid historical overview of its slow emergence over the 20th Century. Finally an analysis of what holds up the expansion of organic agriculture takes up the third part: limits to consumer purchase growth, some difficulties encountered by producers, competing demands for land, developments in supermarket distribution, internal dissentions, to end up stressing the need for agriculture as a whole – not just a small component of it to become more sustainable.
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