In which areas in Europe is organic farming more prevalent?
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Organic farming is considered to be a more environmentally friendly method of farming. It doesn’t use any synthetic fertilizer or pesticides. It only uses fertilizer of natural origin and uses biological pest control. Organic farming can be beneficial on biodiversity and environmental protection. The downside of organic farming, is that it uses more land due to its lower yields compared to conventional farming. In the context of this Eurostat dataset, farming is considered to be organic if it complies with Regulation 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products.
On this map we can see what percentage of the Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) is used for organic farming. UAA, is the total area taken up by arable land, permanent grassland, permanent crops and kitchen gardens.
We can see that there is quite some difference between countries. Organic farming is least prevalent in Eastern Europe, North-western Europe and Northern Spain.
In Northern Europe, the Baltics, the Alps, the Czech Republic and Southern Italy, we can find the highest shares of organic farming. The Austrian province of Salzburg has by far the highest share of organic farming. More than half of the UAA in Salzburg is used for organic farming. The rest of the areas in the top 10 all have between 22% and 30% of their UAA used for organic farming. Severozápad in the Czech Republic, Central Sweden and Southern Italy all have a fairly high percentage of its UAA used for organic farming.
It is interesting to see that in Czech republic most of the organic farming thrives in the same areas that have the heaviest industry and still active large surface coal mines…