Thanks to a 10.5% increase in retail sales in 2018, organic food is the real star of the cart in Italy with an uninterrupted growth in demand for over a decade. This is what Coldiretti says on the basis of Nielsen data at the opening of Sana 2018, the international exhibition of organic and natural products (from today to September 10 at BolognaFiere). Among the products that recorded the greatest increase in sales, meat comes in first place (+34%), second come eggs (+19.2%) and third extra virgin olive oil (13.8%).
THE BREAKTHROUGH OF ORGANIC FOOD IN ITALY
The healthy food choice of Italians was the turning point that increased the turnover of the sector. Last year it has exceeded five billion euros, two of which thanks to exports. As for purchasing channels, besides the large distribution and the particularly dynamic specialized shops we can find direct purchases from farmers and in farmers’ markets such as the Campagna Amica network.
THE LEADING COUNTRY IN EUROPE AND WORLDWIDE
The growth in demand has led to an increase in production. Italy is the European leader in the number of companies that grow organic products, with 64,210 companies and 1,795,650 hectares. The main production guidelines concern animal feed (342,653 hectares), pastures (321,011 hectares), cereals (299,639 hectares) followed by olive trees (222,452 hectares) and vines (103,545 hectares), which have practically doubled in the last five years. Italy is also world leader for organic farming cultivated area, with a percentage of 14.6% ahead of Uruguay (11.9%) and Spain (8.7%).
THE AGREEMENT ON ORGANIC WHEAT
Italy is also the place where the largest agreement on organic wheat ever made in the world in terms of quantities and areas involved has been signed. The agreement between Coldiretti, Consorzi agrari d’Italia, Fdai (Signed by Italian farmers) and Gruppo Casillo provides for the supply of 300 million kilos of organic durum wheat for pasta and 300 million kilos of soft wheat per year for bread-making for a period of three years, with the possibility of an extension for another two for a total of five years.