The organic food industry is booming in Brazil. In 2018 alone, industry sales reached BRL 4 billion, a result 20% higher than the previous year, according to the Brazilian Council for Organic and Sustainable Production (Organis). The survey carried out by the organization says that 15% of the population consumes organic. Proportionally, the South and the Midwest are the largest consumers, and the Southeast, the smallest.
This is a global trend. The organic industry moved US$ 97 billion in 2017 worldwide, led by the US, Germany, France and China. According to figures by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (Ifoam), there are at least about 3 million organic producers distributed in a planting area of approximately 70 million hectares – this number is also growing.
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Latin America accounts for 11% of the total organic area on the planet – about 8 million hectares. In the region, Brazil is the leader in the commercialization of organic products, and grows 1.1 million hectares dedicated to this production model; Argentina has a dedicated area of approximately 3.2 million hectares.
For the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), this industry presents an opportunity to improve export sales to the US and Europe, which produce only 33% of the total volume of agrotoxic-free food they consume.
The profile of organic consumers
The survey Consumption of organic food in Brazil, published in 2017 by Organis, says that, among those who buy organic, the choice is justified mainly by its health benefits – the main reason for 64% of respondents. In the list of the most consumed foods, greens rank first (63% of national consumption is organic), especially lettuce, arugula and broccoli. After that, come vegetables (25%), fruits (25%) and cereals – in this case, rice (12%).
More than 60% of consumers buy organic food in supermarkets, while 26% prefer street markets, 4% go to natural products stores and 3% buy directly from the rural producer. They look for food information in the packaging (37%), in the places of purchase (27%) or in certified stamps (8%) or even amongs friends (8%).
84% of the respondents said they would like to consume more organic, but mention the lack of affordable prices (62%) and of nearby places (32%) as the main barriers to do so.
Content published in May 14, 2019