The organic dairy sector is set to take off in Greece as the government introduces European regulations on organic livestock production.

Greece is the only country in the European Union (EU) that has not implemented EU regulations on organic livestock production. There is no formal production of organic meat & dairy products in Greece, and there are no subsidies provided to conventional livestock farmers converting to organic farming. As a result, there is a dearth of organic dairy farmers and the domestic market is entirely supplied by imports.

Greece has the lowest percentage of organic farmland in the EU. It has 24,800 hectares of organically managed land representing 0.71 percent of total farmland. The organic food industry is also one of the smallest in Europe. Most organic growers produce primary products like organic olive oil and organic fresh fruit & vegetables, of which over 80 percent is exported.

The government is planning to officially implement EU organic livestock regulations in November 2001. Authorisation is to be given to Greek inspection & certification bodies to certify organic meat & dairy products. The government will also provide financial subsidies to conventional livestock farmers that convert to organic agriculture for the first time.

Organic Monitor expects the Greek organic dairy products market to take off in 2002. Some dairies have been producing organic cheese for a number of years but they have been unable to sell their products as organic due to the absence of formal regulations. The organic dairy products market is projected to double in 2002 as these products are given organic status. A large rise in conversion rate of conventional dairy farmers to organic farming is projected in 2002 and 2003.

Major problems affecting the Greek organic food industry are low consumer awareness of organic foods and limited marketing channels. There is low interest in organic foods from Greek consumers compared to other Western European countries and most organic foods are sold via health food shops.

About Organic Monitor

Organic Monitor provides strategic research & marketing consulting on the international organic food industry. International consultants continuously track the organic food industry for market trends and developments. Visit us at