Organic agriculture area (i10)

In 2021, organic farming in Belgium occupied 7.5% of the agricultural area. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must increase. Between 2003 and 2020, the trend is favourable (assessment of November 2023).

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Organic agriculture area - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of agricultural area

//: Average Growth Rates

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Area under organic farming [sdg_02_40], (consulted on 25/10/2023).

Definition: the share of the agricultural area used in organic farming in relation to the total agricultural area. “Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources, the application of high animal welfare standards and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes” (Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production; Official Journal of the European Union, 20/7/2007). The data come from Eurostat.

Goal: the share of land used for organic farming must increase.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 2.4: “By 2030 ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality".

The Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity of December 2022 has adopted new goals, among which "Ensure that areas under agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry are managed sustainably " (target 10, CBD, 2022).

For the European Union, the European Commission's Farm to Fork Strategy aims the objective of at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 (COM/2020/381 final; Official Journal of the European Union, 20/05/2020).

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development contains objective 28: “The social and ecological impact of our production and consumption patterns in terms of food will be considerably reduced” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: the share of land used in organic farming in relation to the total agricultural area evolves in a relatively similar way in the EU than in Belgium, but at a higher level (9.1% in the EU27 and 7.2% in Belgium in 2020). When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and is below the European average in 2020. In that year, Austria ranked first with 25.7% and Malta last with 0.6%.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 2.4.1 - Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture.


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