Record Number of New Organic Farms and Enterprises
As new farms convert to organic farming and old organic farms acquire new fields, the area of cultivated organic fields has risen to approx. 205,000 hectares, which is nine per cent of the total cultivated area in Finland. The Organic Production Development Programme, underlying the government platform, aims at having a minimum of 20 per cent of the cultivated area in organic farming by the year 2020.
One specific group of new organic farmers contains those who have taken over the farm from their parent/s and convert to organic farming and organic livestock all at once. The majority of the new organic farmers also apply for the special aid for organic production. A medium-sized organic farm has about 48 hectares of fields, which is ten hectares more than the average conventional farm.
The 20 % goal has already been exceeded in the provinces of Ahvenanmaa and Kainuu, and Pohjois-Karjala is only one percentage unit behind. The provinces with the smallest percentage of organic farms include Varsinais-Suomi and Satakunta, with organic farming covering less than 5 per cent of the fields.
Positive Attitude towards Increasing Organic Production
Good market conditions, favourable public attitude towards organic production, and the new European rural development programming period starting in 2014 all contribute towards increasing organic production. Further, the rising cost of artificial fertilizers and animal feeds, for instance, persuade farmers to look around for more profitable alternatives.
Data on the precise number of organic farms, cultivated area and livestock will be specified as the new farms, which have left their application at their local ELY-centre to be included in the organic production control system, have had their initial inspection. The farms in the control system are inspected at least once a year.
In addition to agricultural production, also organic food production is showing a marked increase. The number of organic food producers included in the control system grew by 11 per cent last year, and amounted to 487 producers in the year-end 2011. So far, nearly one hundred new organic food producers have joined the system this year; they have been mostly bakeries and in-store bakeries.
Statistics on organic production:
Evira.fi > Themes > Organic production > Statistics and data search (In Finnish)
Senior Officer Beata Meinander, Evira, tel. +358 (0)400 571 033
Senior Officer Sampsa Heinonen, Evira, tel. +358 (0)50 575 1481