The greatest number of farm animals kept under organic conditions in the European Union are poultry, with just under 28.5 million recorded in 2014, according to the EU statistics agency, Eurostat.
This is 3.9% fewer than in the previous year, but when excluding incomplete datasets, however, there was a positive trend in organic poultry numbers in the EU of almost 6%.
France claims the largest number of organic poultry with more than 12.75 million birds, an increase of 8.9% from the previous year when records began. In second place Germany remains unchanged with 4.93 million birds and then the UK and the Netherlands, each with more than 2.35 million organic poultry; while the latter registered an increase of 8.5% from 2013, the UK figure was 3.6% lower than the previous year.
Other countries registering increases in organic poultry numbers included Belgium up 10.5% to 2.098 million; Sweden 929,601, up 3.8% and Poland with 257,515 birds an increase of 5.6%.
The largest percentage drop in organic poultry numbers was registered in Romania, where there was a fall of 22.1% between 2013 and 2014 to 57,797 birds. Latvia’s count declined 10.3% to 24,706; that of Cyprus by 9.8% to 8,616; Estonia’s by 6.0% to 21,020; the Slovakian figure was down 5.3% to 8,250; and the Lithuanian by 1.2% to 6,170. Bulgaria recorded an unchanged figure from the previous year of 500 birds.
Eurostat began collected this data since 2013 and covers 27 of the 28 EU member states (excluding Luxemburg).