agroforst 1199

Naturland

Wachstum gross

For the second year running, Naturland has been able to record significant increases both in the number of its member farms and in the area cultivated. Besides experiencing strong growth in Germany once again, the organic association was also able to show international gains in 2016, where particularly in Europe the development was exceptionally positive.

Currently there are in all 43,000 Naturland farmers to be found in 46 countries the world over. This translates into some 5,000 farmers more than a year ago. If one includes the woodlands managed according to the Naturland standards, this area then comes to over 330,000 hectares of land. To this should be added another almost 20,000 hectares of aquaculture areas.
In Germany, the increase in the area farmed by 9.4% to some 165,000 hectares is again an exceptionally good development. Add to this the some 54,000 hectares of woodlands managed according to the Naturland standards. The number of German Naturland farms increased by 213 to the current figure of 3,127 (+7.3%).
“There is great demand for organic produce from Germany. This is why we are confident that we shall see continued growth,” said Steffen Reese, the general manager of Naturland.
Strong growth in Europe – more smallholders abroad
The contribution made to this positive development by Europe, with increases of a good 25% in area and the number of farms, is exceptionally strong. The lion’s share of growth was in southern Europe, primarily in Italy and Spain. The reason for this is the increased demand of consumers for fresh fruit and vegetables in the winter months.
Beyond Europe’s borders, numerous co-operatives which have gained access to the German market via Naturland were able to expand their production. Notable growth was, for example, recorded in Uganda (coffee), Sri Lanka (spices, coconut) and Vietnam (organic shrimp aquaculture). This is to the benefit of another 4,300 smallholders who now also belong to the Naturland community. Naturland is also now for the first time certifying a farm in Argentina which grows sugar cane.The organic associations were calling for the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers to cancel the impending trialogue negotiations and to overturn the revision, because the proposals under consideration in Brussels would make no improvements to the regulation. They would instead pose a threat to the economic existence of many organic farms throughout Europe as well as of smallholders in developing countries, because the import rules are not in favour of small organic farmers in developing countries.