Photo description: Cows taken outside for the first time by an organic farmer. They could not go outside due to the swampy clay soil, which is now dry enough.

Organic farming

In 2017, 3.1 percent of agricultural land in the Netherlands was used for organic crops. Front runners in the EU in terms of organic farming are Austria and Estonia, with 23.4 and 19.6 percent respectively of farmland managed organically. In the Netherlands, organically grown crops are mostly vegetables and cereals. 1.9 percent of Dutch dairy cattle are organically-reared.

Meetlat-10-Biologische landbouw_ENG M T P T IE PL C Y ES RO BG L U HU CZ HR NL EE I T FI SK FR EU BE UK DE L T DK GR L V SE A T 1.9% 3.8% O r g an i c d airy c a t t l e , 2017

In 2017, organic crop cultivation accounted for 7.0 percent of the total utilised agricultural area (UAA) in the European Union. In the Netherlands, this was 3.1 percent. Cereals are the most common organic crop with a share of 13 percent in the total organic area. With respective shares of 14.5 and 14.2 percent, Germany and France take up the two largest shares in organic cereal production.

Dutch organic vegetable cultivation exceeds EU average

In the Netherlands, shares of organically farmed vegetables (13.0 percent) and potatoes (2.9 percent) are well above the EU average (1.1 and 0.2 percent respectively). Shares of organic cereals (6.1 percent) and permanent crops (1.1 percent) are below the EU average.

7% of European farmland was organic in 2017
3% was the share in the Netherlands

Organic livestock farming plays limited role

In recent years, the Netherlands has seen a rise in organic livestock farming. The number of organic dairy cows has jumped by 82.5 percent in the space of ten years. Nevertheless, organic livestock farming still plays a minor role in the Netherlands. In the EU-28, on average 3.8 percent of all dairy cows are organic; in the Netherlands this is 1.9 percent. In Europe, Austria is leading in terms of organic dairy farming. Over one in five Austrian dairy cows are raised organically.

Not even one percent of Dutch pigs are organic. The highest share of organically reared pigs is found in Denmark at nearly 3 percent of all pigs. On average, 0.8 percent of all pigs in the 28 countries of the European Union are raised organically.


Eurostat – Organic crop production

Eurostat – Organic livestock of animals

Eurostat – Organic crop area


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Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure
2018-2019 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/2019 Average for 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019
2016/’17-2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2016/’17 to 2018/’19 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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