Irish farmers have the second lowest-level of organic farming in Europe, with just 1.6 per cent of agricultural land assigned, according to a study by Eurostat. The average is 8.5 per cent in the EU with Malta ranking lowest at 0.5 per cent.
Statistics published by the EU’s statistics body Eurostat, found that the total organic area in the EU was 13.8 million hectares in 2019.
Ireland has been near the bottom of the league table for several years after the EU set a target of 25 per cent of all agricultural land to be farmed organically by 2030.
Among the EU Member States, the countries with the largest shares of organic area in 2019 were Austria 25.3 per cent of the total utilised agricultural area, Estonia 22.3 per cent and Sweden 20.4 per cent.
The EU aims to have 30 per cent of the agricultural produce from all the 27 member states derived from organic farming. The proposal is part of the EU’s Green Deal, where there are plans for a specific budget of €40 million to be reserved for organic farming.