News of Organic Industry

Estonia: Organic agricultural area continues to grow

Recently the 2013 edition of yearbook "Organic farming in Estonia" was published by the Estonian Ministry of Agriculture". The brochure documents the continued growth of the sector.


In Estonia, organic land has expanded about fourfold in the last ten years. The number of processing and marketing enterprises is also growing every year, as well as the organic market.

Healthiness and good taste are the main reasons why Estonian consumers buy organic food.

Both organic farming organizations and other enterprises are actively contributing to the development of the organic sector.

In order to support this development, the Ministry of Agriculture initiated in 2013 the preparation of the Estonian Organic Farming Action Plan 2014–2020. Also the organic farming measure was prepared for the Estonian Rural development plan for 2014–2020.

Organic production has grown rapidly. There are many farmers who want to manage land organically. Their conversion has been possible with the financial support given per organic hectare since 2000.

By 2013, organic land (153,426 hectares) was about 16.3% of all agricultural land, with 1,553 organic producers. In addition, 40,579 hectares of natural areas were certified. The organic farmland has expanded from year to year to an average area of 99 hectares per farm. Nine of Estonia’s largest organic farms have over 1000 hectares of land.

The largest number of organic producers is in Võru County, but the largest amount of organic land is in Saaremaa. In Hiiu County nearly two thirds of all agricultural land is organic.

The past few years have shown a good growth in the development of organic processing and marketing: the organic farming register had a total of 191 organic food processors, caterers and traders.

The best variety of organic products is available in specialist organic shops, but their total turnover is bigger in conventional stores. The importance of direct sales is decreasing. Consumer interest in purchasing organic food has increased considerably. Organic processing and marketing will undoubtedly develop soon, making organic food much more widely available.


(Source: Organic Europe)


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