|Authors: ||D. Granatstein, E. Kirby, H. Willer|
|Keywords: ||apple, pear, grape, stone fruit, pome fruit, berry|
Consumption of organic food has steadily increased in the primary markets of the European Union and North America.
However, the statistical information base to describe this growth is either incomplete or inaccessible and sometimes inaccurate.
In the USA, fruits and vegetables make up 40% of organic food sales, implying that the expanding overall market has also increased demand for organic temperate fruits such as apple, grape, and strawberry.
Organic fruit in several European countries comprises over 5% of all fruit sales.
Data on organic temperate fruit production have been compiled by FiBL and Washington State University.
In 2006, there were at least 250,000 ha of organic temperate fruit (pome, stone, grapes, and berries) under production worldwide (fully converted plus in conversion). Expansion rates vary by the fruit type and geographic location.
In Washington State, USA, a leading producer of apple, pear, and cherry, organic production will soon comprise 10% of all apple hectares.
Over 5% of the grape hectares in Italy are under organic management.
Major organic temperate fruit production is spread around the globe but often is most successful with semi-arid, dry summer climates due to reduced disease problems.
Leading producers include Italy, Turkey, USA, France, Spain, Poland, and Germany, which together accounted for about three-quarters of the global organic temperate fruit hectares in 2006.
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