One farmer in seven in Wallonia is now farming organically, with one-tenth of all hectares of farmland under organic production, according to the non-profit BioWallonie.
In 2018, the number of certified organic farms grew 7% to 1,742, while cultivation increased by the same amount to 81,087 hectares. Organic production has doubled in the past eight years, and now accounts for 14% of all farms, and 11% of all farming land. Growth has been particularly strong in vegetables (up by 50%) and fruit (up 17%).
Wallonia dominates by far the extent of organic farming in Belgium, with 77% of all farms, and 90% of all organically-farmed land.
Production of organic meat has doubled in only four years, with livestock numbers rising by 24% in 2018 alone, although the sectors vary widely: poultry went up by 35% and pigs by 29%, while sheep and cows remained unchanged.
The market for organic products is now worth 552 million euros, with increased demand the reason given for the growth of production, in particular in Wallonia, where organic food products make up a 4.8% share of the market, compared to 3.2% in the country as a whole. Last year, consumers nationwide spend 760 million euros on the full range of organic products, including not only food but other items such as cleaning and hygiene products and textiles.