The ““EU imports of organic agrifood products: key developments in 2020” report, recently released by the European Commission, reveals that even though the EU market for organic food has increased in recent years, imports of organic agri-food products have slightly decreased between 2019 and 2020. Thus, this increase in consumption is satisfied with production, the report concludes.
In terms of product categories, imports of tropical fruits and organic rice have increased, while imports of other grains, flour and sugar have decreased.
In 2020, the EU imported 2.79 Mt of organic agrifood products, 1.9% less than the 2.85 Mt imported in 2019. Raw materials (including cereals, vegetable and oilseeds, sugar, powdered milk , butter, unroasted coffee and) accounted for 48% of 2020 imports by volume and 29% by value. Other primary products (including meat products, fruits, vegetables, yogurt and honey) accounted for 42% of imports by volume and 53% by value.
The largest volume of organic products enters the EU through the Netherlands. 31% of total imports entered the EU via this country in 2020. It is followed by Germany, Belgium and France, with 18%, 11% and 10% respectively.
The main suppliers of organic products to the EU are Ecuador (12%), the Dominican Republic (9%), China (8%) and Ukraine (8%). The top ten suppliers of organic products to the EU accounted for 64% of the bloc’s organic imports in 2020.
Imports of organic fruits and vegetables
According to the document, fruits and vegetables are the most imported group of organic products, with the EU having imported 1.29 million tonnes of these products in 2020 (46% of total organic imports). Most of it is made up of tropical fruits, nuts and spices (65% organic fruits and vegetables) including mainly bananas (81% tropical fruits).
Imports of tropical fruits, nuts and spices increased sharply in 2020 to 0.84 million tonnes (+ 9%). Imports of citrus fruits (+ 31%) and other organic fruits (+ 7%) also increased, while imports of vegetables and preparations remained stable. Only imports of organic fruit juices decreased in 2020 (-11%).