Organic farming

7 % of the Belgian agricultural surface area is organic

Agriculture & fishery
7 % of the Belgian agricultural surface area is organic

In 2019, the success of organic farming was once again undeniable. All indicators, with the exception of the pig livestock, confirm that the growth of the sector has been sustained over time.

Between 2018 and 2019, the number of organic farms has increased by 5.4 %, which means a 4.6 % increase of surface areas converted or in the process of conversion. Organic farming now accounts for 6.9 % of the utilised agricultural area.

90.7 % of the surface area dedicated to this kind of agriculture is in Wallonia. It is therefore in the North of the country that there is the greatest room for improvement. In Flanders, for example, the number of organic pigs has increased by 24.9 % in one year. It decreased by 12.9 % in Wallonia over the same period, which explains the slight drop of 0.3 % at national level. 41.7 % of the Belgian organic pig livestock is now in Flanders.

Finally, both in the North and in the South of the country, organic poultry farming is still gaining in importance: +13.2 % in Flanders and + 12.0 % in Wallonia.

Graph
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Number of organic producers in Flanders and Wallonia (1997-2019)

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Table1
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Organic farming in Belgium, 1987, 2005-2019

  1987 2005 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Flanders
Number of producers 72 236 256 370 430 468 514 562
Area (ha) 417 3,153 3,822 5,343 6,960 7,367 7,913 8,677
Wallonia
Number of producers 37 497 884 1,347 1,493 1,625 1,742 1,816
Area (ha) 583 21,225 44,878 63,437 71,289 76,072 81,087 84,422
Belgium
Number of producers 109 733 1,140 1,717 1,923 2,093 2,256 2,378
Area (ha) 1,000 24,378 48,700 68,780 78,249 83,439 89,000 93,099
Source :
Vlaamse overheid, Departement Landbouw en Visserij
Service public de Wallonie, Direction générale opérationnelle de l'Agriculture, des Ressources naturelles et de l'Environnement
 
Table 2
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Organic farming in Belgium, 1987, 2005-2019

  2005 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Flanders
Cattle 2,043 2,676 2,565 3,161 5,299 5,224 5,706
Pigs 1,576 1,672 3,452 4,578 6,428 5,518 6,893
Poultry* 175,854 264,376 409,097 458,036 517,775 601,709 681,365
Wallonia
Cattle 31,144 61,333 77,704 85,521 102,717 100,825 101,984
Pigs 6,939 13,618 6,822 6,907 8,588 11,052 9,622
Poultry* 670,606 1,150,986 1,956,918 2,243,053 2,787,702 3,491,046 3,908,546
Belgium
Cattle 33,187 64,009 80,269 88,682 108,016 106,049 107,690
Pigs 8,515 15,290 10,274 11,485 15,016 16,570 16,515
Poultry* 846,460 1,415,362 2,366,015 2,701,089 3,305,477 4,092,755 4,589,911
Source :
Vlaamse overheid, Departement Landbouw en Visserij
Service public de Wallonie, Direction générale opérationnelle de l'Agriculture, des Ressources naturelles et de l'Environnement
* * Broiler chickens + laying hens