Unless otherwise stated, sector-specific data show the global minimum. For methodological reasons, we refer to minimum possible values. We assume that multiple sustainability standards certify all areas. The minimum corresponds to the standard with the largest compliant area operating within a given sector. Crop areas, shares and growth rates might thus be considerably higher.
OVERALL MARKET TRENDS
Slower but continued growth
Increased coverage of agricultural land
Dominance of single-sector standards (those certifying one commodity) in some sectors
Major players remain in flux, with changing rankings
While supply outpaces demand, some standards-compliant products are not even labelled as such
Europe and North America drive demand; growth in other regions is not at the same pace
Cotton has been in the lead position since we started these reports. It continues
to have the largest certified land area: at least 16.8% (2019).
Oil palm and cocoa have switched in ranking this year.
Sugarcane and coffee have also switched in ranking.
6.5 million+ hectares certified
This represents at least 16.8% of the global cotton area, with 12.6% by the Better Cotton Initiative.
3.1 million+ hectares certified
This represents at least 10.9% of the global oil palm area, with 10.8% by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
2.8 million+ hectares certified
This represents at least 22.7% of the global cocoa area, with 20.8% by UTZ.
2.5 million+ hectares certified
This represents at least 9.5% of the global sugarcane area, with 5.8% by Bonsucro.
1.8 million+ hectares certified
This represents at least 16.1% of the global coffee area, with 9% by Fairtrade.
EXPANDING LAND FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS: GENERAL TRENDS
2015-2019: Healthy growth
Certified area for agricultural commodities grew by at least one third from 2015-2019.
Sugarcane experienced the highest growth rate (more than double), followed by cotton (double). There was notable growth in cocoa and tea.
2018-2019: Ups and downs
Cotton and sugarcane expanded by more than 10% (cotton, +11.2%; sugarcane, +14.8%), with single-digit growth for tea, oil palm, and bananas.
On the decline Coffee, cocoa and soybeans declined (coffee, -18.5%; cocoa, -12.7%; soybeans -6%).
Twelve agricultural voluntary standards and eight commodities analysed
...WHILE STANDARD COMPLIANCE LOST GROUND
Global area certified
at least 8.1%
at least 7.9%
2018: at least 26.8%
2019: at least 22.7%
2018: at least 20.7%
2019: at least 16.1%
2018: at least 18.2%
2019: at least 16.8%
2018: at least 16.1%
2019: at least 14.4%
2018: at least 1.6%
2019: at least 1.5%
2018: at least 15.1%
2019: at least 10.9%
RANKING SUSTAINABLE STANDARDS
Top standards in land use
ORGANIC LEADS THE WAY...
The organic standard is the most popular, both in area and product variety.
Agricultural land certified as organic (including areas becoming organic-certified): 72.1 million hectares This represents 1.5% of agricultural land worldwide.
4.9 million hectares
4.3 million hectares
4.2 million hectares
4.1 million hectares
Each represents a global share of 0.09%-1%.
Ten of the 12 agricultural standards grew in double digits
Three of the 12 agricultural standards experienced double-digit area growth, with Bonsucro achieving the highest growth rate
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