The "'EU imports of organic agri-food products: Key developments in 2020' report, published recently by the European Commission, reveals that even though the EU market for organic food has been growing in recent years, imports of organic agri-food products decreased slightly between 2019 and 2020. Thus, this increase in consumption is satisfied with Community production, the report concludes.
In terms of product categories, imports of tropical fruits and organic rice increased, while imports of other cereals, flour, and sugar fell.
In 2020, the EU imported 2.79 Mt of organic agri-food products, i.e. 1.9% less than the 2.85 Mt it imported in 2019. Commodities (including cereals, vegetable oils and oilseeds, sugar, milk powder, butter, unroasted coffee, and cocoa) accounted for 48% of 2020 imports in terms of volume and 29% in terms of value. Other primary products (including meat products, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and honey) accounted for 42% of imports in terms of volume and 53% in terms of value.
The largest volume of organic products enters the EU through the Netherlands. 31% of total imports entered the EU through this country in 2020. It is followed by Germany, Belgium, and France, with 18%, 11%, and 10%, respectively.
The EU's main suppliers of organic products are Ecuador (12%), the Dominican Republic (9%), China (8%), and Ukraine (8%). The EU's top ten organic product suppliers accounted for 64% of the bloc's organic imports in 2020.
Organic fruit and vegetable imports
According to the document, fruits and vegetables are the most imported organic products group, as the EU imported 1.29 million tons 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 tons (+9%). Citrus imports (+ 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%).