Organic food: a growing market
Out of concern for better health, environmental protection and the local economy, more and more people are turning to organic food. This is a good thing, as prices will come down and more people will be able to buy it.
Sales growth of organic foods
According to the Portail Bio Québec, certified organic businesses have more than doubled, rising from 1,592 to 3,446 between 2016 and the end of 2022. As time goes by, organic is taking up a growing share of the market. According to surveys carried out by Filière biologique du Québec in 2020, 63% of Quebecers had purchased organic products on a weekly basis. Despite rising food prices in recent years, consumption has remained stable. The range of organic products on offer has grown from 5,500 to over 11,200. The catering industry has also added organic food to its menu.
In Europe, we’re also seeing strong growth. According to FiBL, by 2020, this will already represent a market worth 52 billion euros, an increase of 15%. Also in 2020, consumer spending was 63 euros per person in Europe and 102 euros per person in the European Union. This represents more than a doubling of organic food expenditure over 9 years, between 2011 and 2020.
Why buy organic?
Buying organic is a healthy choice. Consumers and agricultural workers are no longer exposed to pesticide residues. Repeated exposure to pesticides increases the risk of developing cancer.
Buying organic also helps preserve the environment. Organic production improves soil fertility, reduces erosion and protects biodiversity. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides pollute waterways and destroy pollinators.
Finally, it helps the local economy and encourages more businesses to adopt organic production methods.
What is organic farming?
To be certified organic, a food product must be grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Products must also be free or almost free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Certification assures us that the company complies with the strict standards of organic agriculture. In Quebec, the Bio Québec logo makes it easy to identify products. In Europe, there’s the European organic label, which gives greater recognition to certified organic products.
It’s more profitable to produce organically!
Organic farming is more profitable than conventional according to a study published in 2017 by INSEE (France) in which these 2 ways of working were compared. The same is true in Quebec, where the number of companies switching to organic farming is growing rapidly. According to several farmers in the article Les fermes bio ont doublé en cinq ans (Organic farms have doubled in five years), it’s worth taking the plunge into organic farming, despite higher losses.