How big is the organic industry today?

Email question I received: Do you have any figures on the organic industry in NSW – how big, how fast it’s growing, how much exported, farmer income, climate benefits compared to conventional?
“Starting with the size – I have information from the Biological Farmers of Australia, the largest organic certifying organisation Australia, of which we have been members for 10 years. Global organic food and drink sales are now pushing the US$40 billion mark. In Australia the market was worth A$400 million in 2006, and the area certified was a massive 12.3 million hectares – the largest in the world. There were 2567 certified organic operators in Australia in 2006, of which 1700 were certified by Australian Certified Organic.
Consumption seems to be tied to income and education – those in the know and who can afford to be “progressive consumers” are in the rich world. Over 70% of organic exports from Australia are destined to Europe (Austrade 2003), with the Asian market growing strongly. Rosnay wine is growing steadily in its main export market, Japan.
Climate benefits… that will have to be the subject of a future post… “