In France, organic agriculture confirmed its strength in 2018, particularly in production. This included both an increase in the lands devoted to organic agriculture and the consumption of organic products, but also job creation: the industry had its best growth in six years and doubled the production from five years ago.
Five thousand additional farms were certified organic in 2018. In total, 41,600 farms are working in organic agriculture all across France, which represents 9.5% of farms. The agricultural surface dedicated to organic agriculture reached nearly five million acres in 2018, or 7.5% of the usable agricultural area of France. This represented a 17% increase in the land used for organic agriculture compared to 2017.
The conversion of farms to organic is booming to meet the strong consumer demand. In 2018, organic egg laying hens represented 13.3% of the national total. The French regions of Occitanie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Nouvelle Aquitaine were the three biggest regions when it comes to the number of organic producers in 2018.
As for consumption, the market for French organic products continue to democratize. Nearly 5% of food consumed in French homes are organic agricultural products. In 2018, the market increased by 15% and reached 9.7 billion euros.
Organic consumption is developing in all types of products. 69% of organic products consumed in France are produced in the country. The role of large distributors is strengthening with the sale of organic products in 2018, reaching 49% market share. Specialty stores represents 34% of sales and 12% are direct-to-consumer sales.
Finally, the French organic market is second in the European Union, worth 9.8 billion euros.