• QA 124
    How much organic coffee is sold in France?
    What are the sales figures for organically produced coffee in France?
    Asked by:
    Student - France

    The French coffee industry estimates that per capita consumption of coffee generally is falling in France, from 5.41 kg in 2003 to 5.05 kg in 2005*. However, we understand that the consumption of organic coffee is growing. 

    Even so, like in a number of other European markets where coffee consumption generally is stagnating or decreasing, a growing market share for organic coffee may not necessarily translate into substantial additional sales volume.

    As is the case for most European countries, we do not believe that French import statistics differentiate between conventional and organic coffee.  Furthermore, there is a large and growing intra-European trade in processed or finished coffee products but: EU customs do not record organic products separately. Most other statistics on the trade in organic products are not coffee specific and it is therefore difficult to obtain detailed information.

    The International Coffee Organization in London (ICO - www.ico.org) reports that recorded exports of organic coffee to France were 11,500 bags (of 60 kilos) or 690 tonnes in 2005. However, the ICO cautions that its data may be incomplete or partial. On the import side we would point out that the European Union increasingly functions as one market and individual country import statistics are not always readily available.

    Even so, a recent study estimated that a few years ago French consumption of organic coffee was only 0.4% of total coffee consumption. That estimate compared with 3.4% for Denmark and 2.9% for The Netherlands. However, the same study and trade sources consider France as a growth market for organic products generally, including coffee.**

    Based on our own estimates and those from trade sources, we believe that French consumption of organic coffee may have grown from about 58,000 bags in 2003 to between 70,000 and 80,000 bags in 2005. A good part of this was probably imported from other European countries. This should be seen against an estimated total consumption in France of some 5,050,000 bags green coffee in 2005, as advised by the Confèderation Nationale du Café, CNC, in Paris.

    For further information and possible advice about more direct information sources we would suggest you contact the CNC at café@cncafe.com. Alternatively, general information on the French market for organic products can be found at www.organic-europe.net and www.pronatura.com .

    *   All statistics in www.thecoffeeguide.org are always given in Green Bean Equivalent      or GBE, i.e. as green, not roasted coffee.
    ** 2005 EU Organic Products Market Survey by the Centre for Promotion of imports from Developing      Countries.

    Related chapter(s):
    Related Q & A:
    QA 039