Natural Products – By Jim Manson -August 15, 2019
ORGANICALLY FARMED LAND IN SWEDEN HAS EXCEEDED A 20% SHARE OF ALL AGRICULTURAL LAND IN THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.
New figures released by the Swedish Board of Agriculture show that organic farmland has increased by 58% in Sweden over the past ten years.
“This is a positive development because there is great consumers demand now for foods that are produced to high animal welfare standards, limited climate impact, without synthetic pesticides and that contribute to increased biodiversity,” says Jonas Carlberg, business area manager at Sweden’s lead organic body KRAV.
Last year, 609,104 hectares of agricultural land in Sweden were used organically, corresponding to 20.2 percent. In 2009, the figure was 385,064 hectares, which represents an increase of 58.2% over the past ten years. The government’s goal is for 30% of agricultural land to be organic by 2030.
“We want to see an even faster conversion to organic farming. Other countries are now positioning themselves strongly for the transition to organic production, including France and Denmark. Sweden has taken a step in the right direction, but a faster transition can boost growth in Swedish agriculture and increase both exports and domestic sales,” says Carlberg.
In 2018, Jämtland was the county in Sweden that had the highest share of organically grown agricultural land at 39.7%. The lowest proportion among Sweden’s counties is in Skåne, where only 8.4% of the cultivated land was used organically.
The new data released by the Swedish Board of Agriculture also show that organic crops fared better in last year’s drought, compared to conventional crops.