|Total number of companies||3.423||3.601||3.738||3977||4.417||4.730||5.046||5.241|
The organic sector continues to grow steadily. On 31 December 2019, there were 5,241 organic companies registered with Skal Biocontrole. This is an increase of 195 compared with 2018 and signifies a 3.9 percent growth in the sector.
Organic agriculture and horticulture grew by 3.3 percent, while processing and trade saw an increase of 4.2 percent. With 29 newly registered companies, the aquaculture sector really took off with a growth of 189 percent.
Not all businesses registered with Skal are permitted to start selling their products as organic right away. Newly registered agricultural and horticultural businesses must first complete a conversion period that usually lasts two years. Only then will they receive an organic certificate. Processors and trading companies that pass the admission examination after registration receive their organic certificate straightaway.
In 2020, the organic agricultural and horticultural sector is expected to exceed the magic number of 2,000 organically certified businesses. By the end of 2019, 1,952 agricultural and horticultural businesses had a certificate and 124 agricultural and horticultural businesses were in conversion at the time. This brings the total number of registered agricultural and horticultural businesses to 2,010.
At the end of 2019, 75,204 hectares of agricultural land were registered, denoting an increase of 2,726 hectares compared with 2018. 5,856 hectares are in conversion. This includes land both from new businesses and from businesses already certified that are having new land converted.
One noticeable trend is that organic businesses are getting bigger. The average organic business is 36 hectares. In comparison, the average business in the Netherlands was 32 hectares in 2016 (source: CBS).
|Area (ha) agricultural businesses||50.736||53.379||56.688||56.729||58.446||60.449||66.623||69.349|
|Area (ha) in conversion||3.046||2.559||1.957||2.391||3.319||9.067||4.728||5.856|
|Number of registered agricultural businesses||1.658||1.647||1.600||1.625||1.831||1.930||2.010||2.076|
At the end of 2019, there were 3,115 certified processors, importers, traders, and storage companies. This is 131 more than at the end of 2018. The increase in the branches is as follows: