Unlike the previous partner countries of the European Union, organic farming has a specialized presence only in the UK. According to the UK’s Department of Agriculture (DEFRA) estimate for organic farming, 489,000 hectares were planted to organic standards across the country last year. This was 0.8% higher than in 2019.
While fully converted areas already increased 0.1% to 457,600 hectares, the area under conversion increased 11.6% to 31,300 hectares compared to 2019. LF) in 2020 to only 2.8%. Organic farming in the UK peaked in 2008 with an area of about 720,000 hectares.
Since then, the area cultivated organically has decreased by 34%. The Ministry of Agriculture did not give any reasons for this in its report. According to the current DEFRA estimate, in 2020, 62% of the entire biome will be permanent grassland, 20% alternating pasture and 9% grain. Experts recorded a significant decrease in the number of livestock.
Compared to 2019, the number of sheep kept organically has decreased by 13% to 678,000 heads, making up 2.1% of the total British sheep population. The number of organic pigs decreased by 7.6% to a total of 31,000 animals. This equates to 0.6% of the total British pig population. Organic livestock farming has also declined.
According to the report, a total of 274,000 head of cattle were kept organic in the UK in 2020, down 8.9% year-on-year. The share of organic cattle in British cattle herds was 2.8%. In contrast, the number of poultry kept organically last year, according to DEFRA estimates, increased by 2.0% to just over 3.5 million animals. This corresponds to 1.9% of the total British poultry population.