|Categorie||Organically certified||Organically certified and under partial conversion||Under conversion, not yet certifed (newcomer)|
|* Provisional figures|
Organic farming is a method different from conventional farming. For example, the farmer does not use fertilisers on organically grown crops, and not all crop protection products are permitted. Organic farming also has specific regulations for livestock rearing, such as more space per animal. A farmer who wishes to sell his or her products as organic must be certified to do so.
Share of land under organic farming in the Netherlands
The total utilised agricultural area (UAA) of the Netherlands is 1.8 million hectares. Of this area, 4.4 percent was organic area or area under conversion. In 2015, this share was 2.7 percent.
Of all Dutch agricultural holdings, 3.8 percent (1,951 holding) are organic. This share stood at 2.1 percent (1,366 holdings) seven years ago.
|Categorie||Total (%)||Organically certified (%)||Not certified (newcomer) (%)|
|* Provisional figures ¹⁾ As a share in total of agricultural holdings|
Number of farms under conversion
As of 2022, 24.4 percent of organic farms are farms under conversion, altogether 477 farms. Conversion happens in two different ways: the first type of conversion involves conventional farms switching to organically certified farming methods. These are the newcomers in organic farming. The second type involves already certified organic farms which still have uncertified land or livestock, for instance.
Of all 477 farms under conversion, 20.0 percent (97) are newcomers. The remainder have already been certified. Every year, the share of land in the total UAA which is organically certified or under conversion is around 7 percent; outliers of 10.0 percent were seen in 2016 and in 2017.
Since 2015, between one third and one half of the agricultural area under conversion has been occupied by newcomers, with the remainder representing already certified farms.
|Jaartal||Organically certified (%)||Not certified (newcomer) (%)|
|* Provisional figures|
Dairy farms switching to organic methods most often
Just as in 2015, over a quarter of all organic farms this year are dairy farms. Another one quarter are arable or horticultural farms. Dairy farms also make up the largest category among farms under conversion which are newcomers, at 29.9 percent. Of these newcomers, 23.7 percent are arable farms and 12.4 percent are horticultural farms.
Organic farming in the Netherlands and in the EU
Around the European Union, the total area under organic farming rose by 39 percent between 2015 and 2020, to over 17.7 million hectares. The bulk of this area under organic farming in the EU was in France (17.1 percent). Around 0.5 percent of the EU’s total organic farming area is located in the Netherlands.
Within the EU, Austria has the largest share of agricultural area under organic farming: 25.4 percent. The average across the EU is 9.1 percent.
|Source: CBS, Eurostat|