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Organic-Product Sales Rise 9.2% to $59.1 Billion, Group Says

Global sales of organic products rose 9.2 percent in 2010 on stronger U.S., French and German consumption, an annual report on organic agriculture showed.

Sales climbed to $59.1 billion from $54.1 billion in 2009, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements said in a statement on its website dated yesterday.

Organic farmers avoid using products such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers on crops. While the method typically lowers yields in industrial countries, organic agriculture can boost yields for traditional farmers who employ few crop treatments, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

“The market for organic products continues to grow,” the Bonn, Germany-based federation said. “The first figures available for 2011 show further growth.”

The land area under organic agriculture was little changed in 2010 at 37 million hectares (91.4 million acres) from 37.1 million hectares a year earlier, according to the federation’s report and the Frick, Switzerland-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture.

“The figures indicate a consolidation of the production areas and a continuous and stable growth in the markets,” the federation said. “A further expansion of the organically managed area, certified and non-certified, is however desirable.”

The U.S. was the biggest organic market in 2010, with sales climbing about $2 billion to $26.7 billion, followed by Germany, where sales rose about 200 million euros to 6.02 billion euros ($7.9 billion), data published by the institute showed. France ranked third as sales increased about 340 million euros to 3.39 billion euros.

Per-capita consumption of organic products was highest in Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg, according to the report.

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