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Sustainable Farming - Organic Farming


High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Thursday 18th May 2017

Organic Farming

The area of organic land in Scotland fell four per cent in 2016, down to 122,000 hectares. Of this, 2,300 hectares were still in the process of conversion to organic status.

This was the eighth consecutive fall in the area of organic land. The total area is now equivalent to 2.2 per cent of agricultural land in Scotland, compared to 2.9 per cent in the UK as a whole. Scotland now has just under a quarter of the UK's organic land.

In 2002 almost eight per cent of agricultural land in Scotland was organic, nearly double the rate in the UK. But this fell sharply and by 2007 the rate was about four per cent, matching that across the UK, and since then Scotland has been below the rest of the UK.

In the European Union, the percentage of farmland that is organic has been rising steadily, reaching 6.2 per cent in 2015.

The number of organic producers/processors in Scotland rose four per cent to 560 (of which 355 were producers), up from 539 in 2015. The number has been generally falling since 2008, as it has been in the UK as a whole. The UK figure for 2016 of 6,363 was a five per cent increase on the 2015 figure.


This release contains data compiled by the UK Organic Certification Bodies. The data are sent to DEFRA each year to form the annual return required under European Commission Regulation No 889/2008. The data do not represent a snapshot at a particular date, but give the position on farms when they are inspected by the certifier bodies at some point during the year.

Further information and chart data tables at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/05/9184