More organic farmland, but government target a long way off

Organic curly cale being farmed in Noord Holland. Photo:

Farmland equivalent to 9,000 football fields has been added to the Netherlands’ organic farming sector, taking the total to 4.5% of all arable land, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.

Organic farms now cover nearly 81,000 hectares, having grown by 9% in size since 2022. Nevertheless this is still far below the government’s target of ensuring 15% of arable land is organic by 2030.

A large part of last year’s increase was down to organic farmers’ expanding their land, but 5,400 hectares was newly certified. That is almost the same as the number of hectares that lost their certification because the farmer stopped, sold the land or there was a change of use.

Just under half the certified organic farmland was owned by dairy farms.

The Netherlands now has 1,900 organic farms, a rise of 5% on 2015, but the number of hectares classified as organic is up 72% as farms expand in size. In addition, a further 200 farms were in the process of switching to organic production methods last year, the CBS said.

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