Atlas of Organics: Mapping organic agriculture

Building upon a previous publication investigating organic agriculture based on the reported hectares of certified organically managed agriculture land I have continued this little project in collaboration with John Paull to extend our attempt to quantify and map the world of organic agriculture, which led to the creation of a new atlas of organic agriculture. Here we compiled the following global organics data: (1) certified organic agriculture hectares; (2) certified organic producers; (3) total certified organic production hectares (organic agriculture plus wildculture plus forestry plus aquaculture); (4) certified organic wildculture hectares and mapped these using Worldmapper-style density-equalising cartograms. The maps illustrate the broad global diffusion of the organics meme, visually highlight leaders and laggers, and indicate opportunities for growth and better reportage.
In the world map of the organic agriculture hectares Australia dominates the picture, while Europe is strongly represented, and Africa is weakly represented:

Atlas of Organics: Mapping organic agriculture using cartograms
(click for larger version)


India dominates in the world organics map of organics producers:

Atlas of Organics: Mapping organic agriculture using cartograms
(click for larger version)

Australia dominates in the map of the organics world map of total organic production hectares (the aggregation of agriculture, wildculture, forestry, and aquaculture), followed by Finland:

Atlas of Organics: Mapping organic agriculture using cartograms
(click for larger version)

Finland dominates in the world organics map of organic wildculture, Zambia is a strong representative from Africa, and India is a strong representative from Asia:

Atlas of Organics: Mapping organic agriculture using cartograms
(click for larger version)

The four maps of the atlas of organics presented here reveal the successful widespread diffusion and uptake of organic production and the organics meme. Some countries dominate for agriculture hectares, others for wildculture, and still others for producer numbers.
The data sets of organics parameters rely on the reportage of third parties who are not necessarily ‘at arms length’, since, for example, they may be local organic certifiers. Survey respondents may under-report, for example, for reasons of ignorance or confidentiality; they may over-report, for example, to intentionally inflate figures, or because an enterprise that is certified organic may be certified by several certifiers to gain access to different markets and may thereby be counted several times in aggregated data.

Read further details about these maps and the underlying statistics in the following publication:

  • Paull, John and Hennig, Benjamin (2016) Atlas of Organics: Four maps of the world of organic agriculture. Journal of Organics, 3 (1), pp. 25-32.
    pdf icon Article as PDF; Article online (Organic Eprints Open Access Archive)

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin Hennig in collaboration with John Paull. Please contact me for further details and the terms of use.

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