Wil Sillen's post

Organic farming is growing steadily in the EU
While organic farming has not yet taken off in the Netherlands, it is different throughout the European Union. The organic agricultural area of ​​the EU continues to increase. It grew from 14.7 million hectares in 2020 to 15.9 million hectares in 2021. Of all land used for agriculture, 9.9 percent is cultivated organically.

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This writes European statistics office Eurostat. Between 2012 and 2021, the area used for organic farming has increased in almost all EU countries. Especially in Portugal (+283 percent) and Croatia (+282 percent), organic cultivation is taking off. Organic farmland is also being expanded considerably in France (+169 percent), Hungary (+125 percent) and Romania (+101 percent).

The growing share of organic farmland seems to be the effect of the European Commission's action plan. With this plan, the Commission wants to achieve the European Green Deal target of earmarking 25 percent of the agricultural area for organic farming by 2030.

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The Netherlands
Our own cabinet also has grand plans for organic agriculture. In 2030, 15 percent of Dutch agricultural land must be organic. But the road is still long: in 2021, only 4 percent of the agricultural area was grown organically. This puts the Netherlands at the bottom of the European list for the time being.

Is organic per se more sustainable?
But is organic also necessarily more sustainable than conventional agriculture? No artificial fertilizers and chemically synthetic pesticides are used in organic farming. This saves the necessary CO2 emissions associated with the production and transport of fertilizers and pesticides. An organic area can also lead to more grassland, which leads to increased carbon sequestration.

With less crop protection and less use of veterinary medicines, organic farms ensure healthier soil. The number of plant species and insects is therefore generally higher at organic companies than conventional companies.

At the same time, food yields are lower. Organic farmers produce about 20 percent less per hectare than non-organic farmers. So to produce the same amount of food, extra land is needed. Despite the lower production, organic farmers often earn more than their conventional colleagues. This is because the organic products can be sold for a higher price.
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