Brazil faces organic production shortfall amid soaring demand
A recent study from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR), utilizing data from various national sources, highlights a stark increase in the domestic demand for organic products in Brazil. The research indicates that sales of organic products quadrupled between 2003 and 2017, with a notable 16% increase in consumption from 2021 to 2023. Despite this surge, organic products represent a mere 1.28% of Brazil’s agricultural properties, pointing to an inability to meet domestic demand.
Carlos Armenio Khatounian, a professor at the University of São Paulo, underscores the variance in the understanding of “organic” between the general population and legislative definitions. He notes that while the populace associates “organic” with any naturally produced food, legal standards are more stringent, requiring specific certification and monitoring. This discrepancy has implications for both consumer perception and the marketing of organic products.
Khatounian also remarks on the geographical concentration of certified organic production in the South and Southeast regions of Brazil, with a focus on fruits, vegetables, and high-value sectors like coffee. The research delves into the societal shift towards healthier food options and the historical context of agricultural production, suggesting that a move towards seasonal consumption aligned with natural production rhythms could reduce dependency on imports and intensive agricultural methods.
The study suggests a reevaluation of consumer habits and a closer alignment with natural agricultural cycles could mitigate the need for imports and excessive use of agrochemicals. Khatounian’s insights shed light on the complex interplay between consumer preferences, market forces, and sustainable agricultural practices in Brazil’s evolving organic sector. As the demand for organic products continues to rise, these factors will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Brazil’s agricultural landscape.