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Screen shots from a report on organic food by the European Parliamentary Research Service

The European Parliamentary Research Service writes:

“Globally, 43.1 million hectares of agricultural land was under organic production in 2013, six million more than the year before. With 10.2 million hectares, the European Union (EU) accounts for 24% of the world’s organic land. There are almost 2 million organic producers in the world, mostly in Asia (36%), Africa (29%) and Latin America (16%). The EU represents 13% of this total.”

There you go now.

Read more here

17 thoughts on “Organica

  1. Chuck

    Organic foods here in Ireland are way overpriced – so that might explain the low demand, which results in the low supply. Rip-off Republic is back. Or did it every even go away?

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Damage has been done. Even if the mark-up is reduced and prices come down, people assume that organic produce costs more. Same with the free-range egg vs factory egg.

      The low figure still surprises me – I thought there were a series of grants offered to farmers to convert to organic and get trained up etc.

    2. Rob_G

      Organic food is a luxury good that people are willing to pay a premium for; hence it is expensive.

      Also, I imagine that some crops get lower yields per hectare than their conventionally-farmed counterparts.

  2. Conor

    No surprise really. Large scale intensive farming and lobbying by large scale farming groups such as the IFA results in this.
    Also the dearth of inexpensive food markets contributes to this.
    Andddd….The lack of home grown food in Ireland is shocking, despite Irish folks desire for their own bit of land and having superb conditions for growing our own food. Most people are entirely dependant on Tesco or Dunnes etc. Recently a guy from Bulgaria saw the size of my neighbours back garden and couldn’t believe that grew no fruit or veg. And no chickens! He was flabbergasted!

    1. St. John Smythe

      How will you get anyone to marry your daughter if you don’t have a few heads of cattle in the back garden of your Semi, to sweeten the deal?

    2. Lan

      Wait I’m confused, lobbying leads to less Organic, even though there’s big grants available to convert to Organic, and bigger subs available for them? I’d love the logic of this

      As for the food market I agree it’s a shake we lost them, but you can’t blame farmers for that! People became enamoured with the conscience & selection of the supermarket, wonky vegetables and milk with the cream on top just couldn’t compete.
      So farmers adapted, but only after consumers changed their demands.

      As for no veg, I’ve enough land here to supply me with endless amounts of carrots, turnips and spuds. Except I’m shit say growing veg, and my soil takes way too much time to work, time I have little of, so why not just let someone with better soil, better knowledge & more experience do it for me? Gives me time not to be shacked to an acre of land like my grandfather was.
      Specialisation is the sign of a developed society

      1. Lan

        Argh so many misspellings!
        *I love the logic of this
        *convenience not conscience
        *shit at growing veg

        I’m blaming my phone, it’s not Organic that’s the problem

  3. DecR

    Agree with Conor.

    Irish farmers like to pretend they are “guardians of the countryside & natural heritage”.

    The fact is they are business people creating units of production (cows, pigs, potatoes, etc) for sale at maximum profit.

    There is no shame in that.

    But it means they are about as inclined to be “ecologically friendly” as open-cast mining.

    1. ahjayzis

      +1

      It’s exactly the same as claiming builders and developers are the guardians of architectural heritage and building standards.

    2. Lan

      You were doing so well with your first four paragraphs.
      The difference is between something like mining and farming is endless. Simply put mining is a short term operation to get a non-renewable resource, farming is literally the opposite.

      You’re right farmers aren’t some sort of whimsical pipe smoking “guardians of the countryside” we’re a pragmatic bunch of people with a very VERY long term interest in our land. Add to that we’re an increasingly well educated and increasingly regulated industry (these aren’t bad things if they help wean out the bad ones within our ranks)

      Consider this, if I pollute my groundwater who will have to drink it? Me
      If I damage the soil my grass grows on, who’ll have to buy extra expensive feed in a year or two? Me
      That’s just good business sense, I can’t up and move somewhere else after a year or two

      Sure there’s been mistakes, yes there’s still elements who prefer ignorance, and of course there’s bad examples in our business, same as as there’s bad examples in doctors, builders, plumbers or writers. But on the whole we try and do better everyday & every year when we’ve learned more.
      Because if we keep getting it wrong it’s us that suffers first not you

      1. Kieran NYC

        “Consider this, if I pollute my groundwater who will have to drink it? Me”

        If that was the case, there wouldn’t be numerous places on boil-notices because of run-off for years.

        1. Lan

          Of course there would. In some cases a practice that might have been safe before can be affected by a severe bout of bad weather, eg high rainfall washing slurry into a lake. That’s why I used groundwater as an example because pollution events in those are normally caused by systematic failings of your nitrates limits.
          To be fair, in the past farmers (no more than others) didn’t realise the impact of actions. You spread slurry on a field, it’s gone in two days, that’s what they knew. Now we know that there’s calcified limestone underneath and it’s leading to an aquifer, but they couldn’t have. Those boil notices are often repeat occurrences from original past pollution events

          But as I said there are still some who seem to think the regulations don’t apply. Just like there are in any business but it’s not fair to tarnish the 1000s of compliant farms due to the irresponsible actions of a few.

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