Germany is not only the largest market for organic products in Europe, but also one of its largest organic producers. In spite of this fact, in 2009/2010 Germany imported, depending on the product, 2 to 95 % of such organic products which could also have been produced in the country. This is shown by a project under the German Federal Scheme for Organic Farming and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture (BÖLN), carried out by the Agricultural Market Information Company (AMI), FiBL and AgroMilagro. (Picture: Cultivation of soy in Europe)
An unexpected result was the low import share of cereals of only 15 %, Organic-World.net reports. In 2009 - the year investigated - harvest in Germany was higher than on average and, therefore, it is assumed that the import share in other years was higher. Wheat had the highest import share of 21 %. For protein crops, the import share of 24 % was unexpectedly high. Soybeans account for 76 % of all organic oil seed imports. Organic fresh potatoes are, by volume, among the most important organic fresh products, after organic eggs and organic fresh vegetables. In 2009, the import share was 28 %.
As regards vegetables, organic carrots are by far the most sold product and are grown on 14 % of the carrot area in Germany. As the individual farms cannot expand the areas cultivated with carrots, Germany imports 48 % of its organic carrots. The high import rates of fruit vegetables such as tomatoes (80 %) and peppers (90 %) are due to the all year round demand for products that can only be grown in season in Germany. Organic bananas have, naturally, an import rate of one 100 %. The import rate for organic apples was also high at 50 % in 2009/2010. Germany imports 26 % of its fresh organic milk and 26 % of its organic butter, most of it coming from Denmark and Austria. This article with table is also published in the 2012 edition of "The World of Organic Agriculture". More information is available here. (Picture: Alnatura in Freiburg, Germany)