The organic-food market in France is just behind Germany’s, which until recently was Europe’s uncontested leader.
French professionals are no longer shy about acknowledging their goal: making France Europe’s Number One country for organic food. To achieve that, the sector is counting on its wide range of products, which include both basic ingredients and prepared foods, as well as its capacity for processing and preparing food, which is unparalleled in Europe.
“One third of all shell eggs sold in France are now organic.“
For consumers, eggs are still the market driver. But the products with the strongest growth are prepared foods, including frozen foods, beer, dairy products, canned and packaged foods, fruit juice and non-alcoholic beverages.
For producers, the sector’s main challenge lies in the tricky conversion phase, when their products can’t be labelled organic (or sold at organic prices) yet. For wine-growers, a “Converting to Organic Agriculture” label has been created in order to allow their wines to be sold at slightly higher prices than conventional wines during that 3-year conversion period. Thus wine-growing has joined the ranks of agricultural products with the fastest-growing share of organic production, alongside field crops and orchard fruits. France’s Overseas regions have not been outdone, however, having launched an organic banana, christened “pointe d’or” (Golden Spike).
“The French government has set an ambitious goal for the sector as a whole: going from the current 8.5% of agricultural land under organic farming to 15% by 2022.”
Stay-at-home orders may actually have given that goal a boost, with an 8% increase in the number of consumers purchasing organic products. The organic sector is key to France’s food industry’s growth.
Key figures of Organic sector in France
France is the second largest European market (after Germany) for organic food in 2019.
France is the third largest area in Europe (after Spain) under organic farming in 2019.
In 2019, the revenue of Organic sector in France was 11.9 billion euros, +13.5% compared to 2018.
In 2019, export generated 826 million euros, +5% compared to 2018.
Organic sector in France provides 179,500 direct jobs.
Regions with the greatest area under organic farming in 2019:
Pays de la Loire
Auvergne Rhône Alpes
French consumers’ favorite organic products in 2019:
Non-perishable foods 29% of purchases
Fresh fruits and vegetables 17% of purchases
Dairy 16% of purchases