Organic farming (org)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

Download


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E1: Agriculture and fisheries

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 07/03/2018
2.2. Metadata last posted 07/03/2018
2.3. Metadata last update 07/03/2018


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Organic farming can be defined as a method of production which places the highest emphasis on environmental protection and, with regard to livestock production, on animal welfare considerations. It avoids or largely reduces the use of synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, additives and medicinal products. The production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their use in animal feed are forbidden. It is as a part of a sustainable farming system and a viable alternative to the more traditional approaches to agriculture.

Organic farming differs from other agricultural production methods in the application of regulated standards (production rules), compulsory control schemes and a specific labelling scheme.

The collected statistics cover the following data:

  1. The number of operators such as producers (agricultural holdings, aquaculture production units), processors, importers, exporters and other operators (wholesalers, retailers, etc.)
  2. Crop area under organic production (fully converted area) and under conversion
  3. Organic crop production (production from fully converted area)
  4. Number of organic livestock and aquaculture production
  5. Organic products of animal origin
  6. Number of operators processing products issued from organic farming (based on NACE classification)

Organic farming statistics started to be collected, processed and disseminated by Eurostat for the reference year 1997 on the basis of gentlemen’ agreements. For the reference year 2009, the data collection is based on the EC Regulation 889/2008 implementing the Council Regulation 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products. This data is collected as summary tables to display an overview of the uptake of organic farming within the whole European Union. EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and some Candidate Countries (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey) provide also data on a voluntary basis.

In order to better fit the legal requirements imposed by the Regulation (EC) 889/2008, a new version of the questionnaire for the data collection of organic farming statistics has been drafted by a task force organised by Eurostat in 2011 on organic farming. The new structure of the questionnaire which includes qualitative and quantitative improvements to the data collected, became effective from the 2012 data collection onwards. Since 2012, the questionnaire has been updated every year to take into account the different need and improvements in the data collection.

Data collected from 2012 onwards are disseminated via 7 datasets:

  1. Organic operators by status of the registration process (from 2012 onwards) (org_coptyp)
  2. Organic crop area by agricultural production methods and crops (from 2012 onwards) (org_cropar)
  3. Organic crop production by crops (from 2012 onwards) (org_croppro)
  4. Organic livestock of animals (from 2012 onwards) (org_lstspec)
  5. Organic production of animal products (from 2012 onwards) (org_aprod)
  6. Organic production of aquaculture products (from 2012 onwards) (org_aqtspec)
  7. Processors of organic products by NACE Rev. 2 activity (C) (from 2012 onwards) (org_cpreact)


Datasets containing data until 2011 are disseminated under a folder with historical data and contains the following datasets:

  1. Organic operators by status of the registration process (until 2011) (org_coptyp_h)
  2. Organic crop area by agricultural production methods and crops (until 2011) (org_cropar_h1)
  3. Share of organic crop area out of the total utilised agricultural area (UAA) (until 2011) (org_cropar_h2)
  4. Organic crop production by crops (until 2011) (org_croppro_h)
  5. Organic livestock of animals (until 2011) (org_lstspec_h)
  6. Organic production of animal products (until 2011) (org_aprod_h)
  7. Processors of organic products by NACE Rev. 2 activity (C) (2008-2011) (org_cpreact_h)
  8. Processors and importers of organic products by NACE Rev. 1.1 activity (D) (until 2007) (org_cpreact_nr1)


An indicator for sustainable development is calculated to provide information on the share of organic area in the total Utilised Agricultural Area. The data on the total area are provided by crop production statistics (apro_cpsh1).

Detailed information on the indicators provided in this collection may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).

3.2. Classification system

Information on the classifications used for each indicator may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).

3.3. Coverage - sector

Information on the sector coverage of each indicator may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Farming is considered to be organic if it complies with "Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 (OJ No L 189/2007) on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91".

Organic farming differs from other agricultural production methods in the application of regulated standards (production rules), compulsory control schemes and a specific labelling scheme.

More information may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).

3.5. Statistical unit

Information on the statistical unit of each indicator may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).

3.6. Statistical population

Information on the statistical population of each indicator may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).

3.7. Reference area

European Union Member States.

On a voluntary basis, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey are also covered.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data are available from 1997 onwards.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measure Top

Information on the unit of measure of each indicator may be found in the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).


5. Reference Period Top

Calendar year.

The number of operators (table org_coptyp) is collected at the beginning and the end of the year. Since 2016 and for avoiding confusions, the data published without further indications refers to December 31st of the year. Publications issued before and after February 2016 can thus display a break in the reference periods (one year difference).


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Up to reference year 2007 data were delivered to the Commission on the basis of "Gentlemen's agreements" (no obligation to deliver statistical data).

From reference year 2008 onwards, data have to be provided according to

Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007(OJ NoL 189/2007) on organic production and  labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91

and

Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 (OJ No L250/2008) laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Most data for organic farming statistics are not confidential. Confidentiality issues are treated individually with the respective reporting countries due to very small number of producers. These data are not disseminated and flagged with ‘c’.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

None; data are disseminated as soon as they are available and after validation.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') with respect for professional independence of statistical authorities from other policy and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Data are annual. Eurostat receives and disseminates data after reception and validation.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line (no regular press release calendar).

Organic crop area on the rise in the EU – Two million hectares more since 2010 (208/2016).

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistical book: Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics (2016), Chapter 5.1.

Statistics Explained: Organic farming statistics

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

The organic farming statistics can be found in Eurobase under Organic farming

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Individual information is handled by the control bodies and no access to micro data is foreseen.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Harmonised questionnaire including definitions and explanatory notes.

See also the Country notes (under ‘Annex’ at the bottom of this page).

10.7. Quality management - documentation

None.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

- Harmonised questionnaire on organic farming with explanatory notes

The questionnaire has been developed in cooperation with DG AGRI (mainly the Regulatory Committee on Organic Production), the unit E1 of Eurostat (responsible for statistics on agriculture) and the Task Force on 'Organic Production statistics'. The questionnaire can be revised annually.

- Systematic data validation, including comparisons with data from other sources.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The Member States and the other reporting countries are requested to provide information on methodology and quality issues relating to the organic farming statistics they report. The questionnaire used for this purpose focuses on the statistical process and on the information needed to ensure the quality of the organic farming data. The purpose is to collect information on key quality and methodology aspects from each reporting country. The questions are divided in 2 distinct parts:

  • General questions on the collection and methodology of organic farming data;
  • Specific questions relating to each of the four tables on organic farming statistics. These questions focus on key issues related to the respective tables. These questions are the same for each table, thus they can simply be copied/pasted for each of the four tables.

The information collected is analysed with a view to identify discrepancies, best practices, quality issues and aspects limiting comparability across countries. It could furthermore be used to update metadata disseminated by Eurostat together with the organic farming data, improve the questionnaire and guidelines, definitions and methodologies issues, the regulation, etc.

Overall, there is a currently a certain heterogeneity in practices in the reporting countries. Discussion is ongoing regarding possible actions needed to harmonise the data collection process in all reporting countries. In most countries, a large share of the data comes from the responsible national control bodies. Thus, a special focus is on the methodologies and practices applied to convert these data into official statistics, coherent with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Implementing Regulation No 889/2008.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The main users are DG Agriculture and Rural Development, DG Environment, European Environment Agency (EEA), Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL), public.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No official user satisfaction has been carried out.

12.3. Completeness

Reference year 2016 (preliminary information):
- 86.56% of mandatory data was provided
- 53.42% of voluntary data was provided

Reference year 2015:
- 85.28% of mandatory data was provided
- 53.87% of voluntary data was provided

Reference year 2014:
- 81.97% of mandatory data was provided
- 58.26% of voluntary data was provided

Reference year 2013:
- 75.69% of mandatory data was provided
- 53.53% of voluntary data was provided

Reference year 2012:
- 55.25% of mandatory data was provided
- 40.72% of voluntary data was provided


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The legislation foresees an annual control of every operator and therefore no sample is required.

Double counting of operators is possible where several control bodies are involved, but should not concern the products or production factors.

Data are requested on the basis of a harmonised questionnaire. In case of uncertainties, data providers are directly contacted to check the data and to confirm or to correct them.

Data which have been corrected by the data providers are subject to an immediate revision in the dissemination database.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not assessed.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The transmission deadline is laid down in the Implementing Regulation No 889/2008. The data are due 6 months after the end of the reference year i.e. before 1st July each year.

14.2. Punctuality

Most data deliveries are on time. Most of the delayed data transmission are late by some weeks only.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The harmonised questionnaire intends to guarantee a certain geographical comparability between Member States. The national practices, left to subsidiarity, limit it.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The comparability over time within reporting countries is sought. For most of them data are available for at least the past 5 years.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The figures can be compared with data from different sources within Eurostat, such as Farm Structure Survey or agricultural production. However this comparison should be performed with caution. This is because the organic data set is based on annual administrative data, supposed to cover all certified and under conversion to organic area, while the Farm Structure Survey is carried out on farm level every 3rd year, covering a sample of the farms which excludes the smallest farm holdings.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Data validation is performed at Eurostat to eliminate possible consistency errors.

Coherence amongst the various tables and within the tables is checked.


16. Cost and Burden Top

The data are collected by the Member States mainly by administrative data provided by national certification and control bodies. The exact cost of the data collection is not known by Eurostat.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

There is no systematic revision of the data. Data are revised whenever better and more accurate figures are provided.

17.2. Data revision - practice

- After data validation, the reporting countries are asked to check incoherent figures or/and outliers and possibly to revise their data when no satisfying explanation is provided.

- The reporting countries are asked to update their data in line with the national revisions.

- The Eurostat database is updated as soon as the data are revised.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Administrative data provided by national Certification and Control bodies.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Annual data collection.

18.3. Data collection

Data are collected by national Certification and Control bodies and reported through the harmonised questionnaire.

18.4. Data validation

Coherence and completeness checks lead to requests for data revision or explanation by the data providers.

18.5. Data compilation

From 1997 until 2011:
EU-aggregates are calculated as far as national data are available (at least 90% of the Member States).

They are available for 2 tables:

  • Organic crop area by agricultural production methods and crops (until 2011) (org_cropar_h1)
  • Share of organic crop area out of the total utilised agricultural area (until 2011) (org_cropar_h2)

From 2012 onwards:
EU28-aggregate is calculated as far as national data are available for all Member States.

They are available for 3 tables:

  • Organic operators by status of the registration process (from 2012 onwards) (org_coptyp)
  • Organic crop area by agricultural production methods and crops (from 2012 onwards) (org_cropar)
  • Organic livestock of animals (from 2012 onwards) (org_lstspec)

For more information, please see the Country notes (under ‘Annex’ at the bottom of the page).

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.


19. Comment Top

For all additional information on the single indicators (operators, area and production, livestock and products of animal origin), please consult the document 'Organic farming_additional information' (please see under 'Annex' at the bottom of this page).


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Organic farming - additional information
Organic farming - Country notes