World production of certified organic citrus was estimated at 600 000 tonnes in 2001. It is estimated that at least 30 countries produce and export certified organic citrus. Organic citrus is produced in a majority of citrus producing countries in the Americas, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean rim, Africa and Asia. The largest producing countries are, by decreasing order of importance: Italy, the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece and Spain.
Italy, Spain, Argentina, the United States and Greece are significant exporters of fresh citrus, while the main exporters of organic citrus juices are Brazil, Israel, Costa Rica, the United States, Italy, Mexico and Cuba (Table 1).
World production of organic citrus has risen rapidly in recent years. However, it only accounts for 0.6 percent of total citrus output, which means that there is a large potential for expansion. Further increase is expected due to significant areas of citrus land in conversion to organic management. In Brazil, for example, the Eurofruit/Biologic magazine reported in 2002 that 5 876 ha of groves are in conversion, which could potentially translate into an additional 100 000 tonnes of oranges. In Italy, 7 500 ha of citrus were in conversion in 2001.