Global market worth €55bn
The organic market is in growth globally, with consumer demand on the rise and more certified organic farmers than ever before. Figures just released show the 2013 global market was worth €55bn. The United States is the leading market at €24.3bn, followed by Germany (€7.6bn) and France (€4.4bn).
In 2013 official market data was for the first time published for China, valuing the market at €2.4bn and making it the fourth biggest in the world.
These markets offer huge potential for Irish organic products.
Organically cultivated land is approximately 10m hectares in the EU, with Spain, Italy, France and Germany leading the way.
In Ireland we currently farm 1.3pc of utilisable agricultural land as organic - considerably lower than the EU average of 5pc.
In order to become a bigger player in the EU and global markets we need to increase that land area significantly.
The highest value and volume of Irish organic exports are beef and smoked salmon. With the opening up of the US beef market to Ireland there is obvious interest in securing outlets for organic beef particularly in the speciality retail markets dominated by companies such as Wholefoods and Trader Joe's.
Additionally, there is potential for Irish organic dairy products, with growing interest from Europe and the US in the high quality and excellent taste of products currently available.