Go Organic! Australian organic industry hits $1 Billion mark

According to the Australian Organic Market Report 2010 commissioned by the Biological Farmers of Australia, the Australian organic industry is tipped this year to become an AUS$1 billion industry.

“The results are testament to the resourcefulness and maturity of the organic industry, as well as highlighting the diversity and innovation of this market sector,” said BFA Director and report co-author Dr Andrew Monk.

Independently researched by the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale NSW, the report assists the commercial sector by contributing to business decisions and business planning in farming, value adding or retail and trade operations, while also directing government policy and general investment.

Key Findings:

• More than 60% of Australian households now buy organic on occasion, up from 40% in 2008.

• Organic domestic retail sales have grown over 50% in 2 years (from $623M to $947M)

• In 2010 retail sales are expected to pass the $1B mark

• Some stand out performers include: essential oils production (up 155%) feeding the growing cosmetics sector; Poultry (eggs) (75%); Milk & dairy (36%); and wine (16.5%).

• 91% of Australians say “chemical-free” is important to them, being a stand out feature of organic production.

• The organic industry employs an estimated 25,000 people domestically, while organic farmers tend to be younger on average than non-organic farmers.