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Notes and information on the data of the OrganicDataNetwork

This page contains information on the data that were compiled by the partners of the OrganicDataNetwork project.

About

The organic market data presented on this website were compiled in the framework of the European-funded FP 7 project "Data network for better European organic market information (OrganicDataNetwork)" (grant agreement number no 289376).

The data shown in the data tables were compiled by the partners of the OrganicDataNetwork project and are based existing data of national data sources and on Eurostat. (For details see paragraph on data sources).

The surveys were carried out between July 2012 and January 2014 and covered data from 2011 and 2012.

Countries included in the survey: All member states of the European Union, the EU Candidates and Potential Candidates, the EFTA Countries and the non-European Mediterranean countries (the latter are not included in the tables).

For revisions, updates etc. please contact helga.willer(at)fibl.org

General notes

Overall it should be noted that data from the different European countries are often not comparable. A PDF database excerpt with explanations by indicator, year, country and crop/product (486.1 KB) is available for download.

There are a number of reasons why data are often not comparable:

  • There are still a number of data gaps for many countries.
  • Existing data are sometimes not complete, and the level of completeness varies from country to country or even within one country over the years. This is due to different methodologies of data collection. Therefore a country-to-country comparison is not always possible; this applies particular to production data, retail sales, exports and imports.
  • Special care should be taken when using retail sales data by commodity: for most countries not all products are covered, and often the numbers also for the covered products are not complete. 
  • Data classifications and aggregations can differ from country to country, making comparisons difficult.
  • Definitions can vary from country to country. (e.g., the indicator "animals [heads]" may refer to the animals slaughtered in a year or the number of places).
  • For countries that do not use the Euro, values were converted in Euros. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, data are therefore not comparable over years for these countries.
  • Please also note when using the data, when no new data were available, the data from the previous year were used (See details in separate file on data year).

Methodology

In the OrganicDataNetwork project a secondary data collection of existing organic market data was carried out.

Data were collected from national sources, official and private, often with different data collection approaches and, hence, a country-to-country comparison is often not possible.

In order to collect the data, the OrganicDataNetwork questionnaire was used, covering indicators on area, livestock, production, operators, retail sales, exports and imports.

The data are stored in MS Access database run by the OrganicDataNetwork partners Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the Agricultural Market Information Company (AMI).

Data sources

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Quality checks

Data were quality-checked using a couple of standard checks including:

  • Comparison with the data from the previous year
  • Comparison with the data of the overall total, if available
  • Comparison with the data from the neighbouring countries

However, due to the fact that many data are not comparable due to: 

  • incompleteness of data,
  • the use of different methods, classifications, definitions, and  
  • fluctuating exchange rates.

explanations were inserted in the MS Access database, and a PDF database excerpt with explanations by indicator, year, country and crop/product (486.1 KB) is available for download.

Classifications used

Area and production

For the area and production data the classification used by Eurostat for the organic data is used (see Eurostat Website: Organic farming: Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS).

Retail sales, exports, imports, processed products

For the retail sales and international trade data, Eurostat's Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the European Economic Community, 2008 Version (CPA) is used.  

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Indicators used (named "Elements" in interactive tables)

Animals

  • Animals [heads]
    Number (heads of animals
  • Beehives [no]   
    Number of beehives

Area

  • Area [ha]   
    Area, both in conversion and fully converted by crop
  • Area fully converted [ha]
    Area fully converted by crop
  • Area under conversion [ha] by crop
    Area under conversion by crop
  • Area, all [ha]   
    Total  organic agricultural area

Exports and imports

  • Export [Mio €]   
    Export value by individual crops/products in euros
  • Export [Mio €], share [%]   
    Share of organic export value by crop/product of total exports
  • Export [t]   
    Export volume by commodity
  • Export, all [Mio €]   
    All organic exports in million Euros, no breakdown by commodity 
  • Import [Mio €]   
    Import value in euros by commodity 
  • Import [Mio €], share [%]   
    Share of import value by crop/product of total imports
  • Import [t]   
    Import volume in metric tons by crop/product
  • Import [t], share [%]   
    Share of import volume by commodity  of total imports
  • Import, all [Mio €]   
    All organic imports in million euros
  • Import, all [t]   
    All organic imports in metric tons
  • Import, all: Share [%]   
    Share of all organic imports of country's total imports

Operators

  • Operators, exporters   
    The natural or legal person  who exports to a third country organic products with a view to the subsequent marketing (Eurostat definition)
  • Operators, importers   
    The natural or legal person who presents a consignment for release for free circulation into the Community (Eurostat definition)
  • Operators, processors   
    Operator who preserves and/or processes organic agricultural products (incl. Slaughtering and butchering) and aquaculture products; Packaging and labelling as organic is also considered as processing (Eurostat definition)
  • Operators, producers   
    Production unit operated under a single management for the purpose of producing agricultural product (Eurostat definition)

Production

  • Production [Mio €]   
    Production value by crop/product
  • Production [t]   
    Production volume by crop/product
  • Production [t]: Share [%]   
    Share of the production volume of the total production
  • Production, all [Mio €]   
    All organic production (by country) in million Euros
  • Production, all [t]   
    All organic production (by country) in metric tons

Retail sales

Total

  • Retail sales, all [€/person]   
    Per capita consumption in Euros for all retail sales
  • Retail sales, all [Mio €]   
    All organic domestic retail sales in million Euros
  • Retail sales, all [t]   
    All organic domestic retail sales in metric  tons
  • Retail sales, all, by channel  [Mio €]   
    All organic retail sales by sales channels; channels are general retailers, specialized retailers, direct marketing, other sales channels
  • Retail sales, all: Catering [Mio €]   
    All organic catering sales in million Euros
  • Retail sales, all: Growth value 1 year [%]   
    All organic domestic retail sales - Growth in value (euros) in 1 year
  • Retail sales, all: Share value [%]   
    Organic share of total domestic market in value

Byproduct

  • Retail sales [[Mio €]   
    Retail sales by product in million Euros
  • Retail sales [Mio €]: Share [%]   
    Share of total retail sales value by product
  • Sales [t]   
    Domestic retail sales volume in metric tons by product/crop
  • Sales [t]: Share [%]   
    Share of organic domestic retail sales volume by crop/product in metric tons

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Specific notes on data by indicators

> Area data

  • The indicators ("elements") "Area [%]" and "Production [%]" show the comparison with a country's overall total for a crop.
  • Comparison data with the overall total (from FAOSTAT) may use different nomenclatures and definitions, and threfore, comparisons are not always possible.
  • The total area/production were taken from FAOSTAT (see http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/default.aspx#ancor )
  • "Area" refers to the fully converted and in-conversion organic area.

Specific notes on year-to-year comparison.

  • Sometimes for crops/crop groups specified as "other", "no details", the allocation to a certain group by country or over the years may change, hence data are often not comparable.
  • For permanent grassland/pasture and meadows and temporary grassland the allocation to one of these groups may vary from year to year between within one country; hence a direct year-to-year  comparison is often not possible.
  • In some cases there may be negative values. This is used in order to account for areas with double cropping as otherwise the overall total would be incorrect.
  • The level of detail by crop/crop group provided by the countries may vary from year to year; again this makes a direct year-to-year comparison often impossible.

> Production data

  • "Production volume" refers in most cases to the production from the fully converted land;  this has to be taken into account when comparing the organic area and production with the total area and production (shares for area might differ substantially for that of the production)
  • "Production volume" may refer to the actual production volume or to the volume that was actually marketed; thus data are not always comparable. The indicators "Area [%]" and "Production [%]" show the comparison with a country's overall total for a crop.
  • Comparison data with the overall total (from FAOSTAT) may use different nomenclatures/definition and comparisons are not always possible.
  • The total area/production in order to calculate the organic shares were taken from FAOSTAT (see http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/default.aspx#ancor)

> Retail sales data

  • Retail sales data are shown for the total organic market (Table Key Indicators), and in some cases product-related (Table Organic retail sales for selected products) data are available. 
  • Not all countries provide data on all products or complete data by product (coverage gap), hence a country to country comparison is not possible. 
  • Fluctuating exchange rates: Growth rates for one country (e.g., UK) and the comparison with others may be distorted.

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Note on retail sales data by country

Austria

Please note that the retail sales data by product cover only selected products (perishable products) and only products that are sold in supermarkets; thus only a part of the market is reflected.

Belgium

Please note that the retail sales data by product cover only selected products and only products that are sold in supermarkets; thus only a part of the market is reflected.

Denmark

For Denmark, direct marketing, box schemes and petrol stations are not included. 

Finland

Please note that the retail sales data by product cover only a range of products (perishable products) and only products that are sold in supermarkets; thus only a part of the market is reflected.

France

For France the whole market is covered. Please note that over the years product classifications have changed, therefore a direct year-to-year comparison is not possible in all cases.

Germany

For the 2014 data, it was attempted for the first time to cover the whole organic market. In the years before 2014, not all products were covered, and also the values for the covered products are not complete. Hence a direct year-to-year and country-to-country comparison is not possible.

Italy

For Italy the data for 2011 and 2012 cover all sales channels. The data for 2013 cover general retailers only. For 2014 no new data has been received yet, and the 2013 data are shown. A direct year-year-to year comparison is therefore not possible.

Netherlands

The data by product covered all sales channels including catering until 2013. The 2014 data include only the general and specialized retailers. A direct year-to-year comparison is therefore not possible.

Norway

Please note that the retail sales data by product cover only a selected products, and only products that are sold in supermarkets; thus only a part of the market is reflected. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, data may not be comparable over years.

Switzerland

The data by product cover general retailers only; direct sales and other marketing channels are excluded. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, data may not be comparable over years.

United Kingdom

Data availability has not been consistent over years: hence a direct year-to-year comparison is not always possible. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, data may not be comparable over years.

Key documents related to Organic Market Database of the OrganicDataNetwork