22 May 2014 — Organic farming has been one of Australia’s best performing agricultural industries for the past five years, and according to a newly released IBISWorld report, it is expected to flourish to the tune of 49.6 per cent growth in the sector’s value between now and 2019.

In 2013 the organic farming sector generated revenue of $489.5 million, with Australia reflecting the global trend of greater consumer demand driven by increased health consciousness and concerns for environmental protection. IBISWorld predicts this year the sector will generate $655.3 million, and by 2019 $980.6 million.

According to IBISWorld, Australia has the largest amount of organic farmland in the world, at an estimated 12 million hectares. The majority of this is grazing country used for organic cattle production. In the horticultural and broadacre sector, organic farming is mainly practised by small operators, which is a distinct contrast to the increasing corporatisation of conventional, chemical-dependent agriculture.

The other rapidly growing sector is hydroponics, which generated $905.9 million in 2013, and is expected to climb to over $1 billion in revenue in 2019.

“Australia is very well placed to take advantage of our highly productive soils, efficient farming practices and geographic position on the doorstep of Asia. IBISWorld anticipates that growth in Australian hydroponics, organic farming and recent free trade agreements will see more Australian produce being exported,” IBISWorld Australia general manager Dan Ruthven said.