Despite the drought here in Australia, farmers producing organic produce are doing very well. We have nearly 12 million hectares (around 29 million acres) of certified organic farmland in this country – the largest of any country in the world.
According to a report commissioned by the Biological Farmers of Australia, sales at the farm gate last year were estimated to be in excess of $231,000,000 – an 80% increase over 2004.
The report also found an increase in the number of organic produce farmers, with around 5.2% growth per year. We now have 2750 certified organic operators. It seems the young ‘uns are the trailblazers in this area, with the average age of an organic producer in Australia is lower than a non-organic producer.
Organic food is certainly catching on in supermarkets too, with over 500 different organic lines in fresh and grocery categories in major retailers.
I really had no idea the organic food sector was so successful here – it’s very encouraging stuff!
You can read more about the University of New England’s Organic Research Group’s “Australian Organic Market Report (AOMR) ” on the Biological Farmers of Australia web site