Collecting data on the cultivation area of Echinacea in different European countries is difficult because the plants tend to be grown in small and scattered plots. Hence, there are no data available in national official statistics. For example, in Germany the total cultivation area for all Echinacea species was reported to be 178 ha in 1999, and only 85 ha in 2000. The cultivation area of E. angustifolia in France was reported to be 17 ha in 2000 (Aiello, 2002), and the total area for all species in 2002 was reported as 45 ha (Gicquiaud, 2002). On the other hand, cultivation regions are often located in close proximity of manufacturers of Echinacea products.
All available data are shown in Table 4.5. The estimated planted area of the three main Echinacea species in Europe is 250 to 300 ha. The biggest areas are in Germany, totaling 85 ha. A total of 30 to 50 ha are under cultivation in Italy, France, Poland, and Hungary; 13 to 20 ha in Sweden and Holland; and 3 to 5 ha in Switzerland, Spain, and Finland. Echinacea growing areas have increased significantly in Italy, from less than 10 ha in 1989 to 35 ha in 1999 (Vender, 2001).
The producers of Echinacea are quite various. There are farms and cooperatives producing raw materials only for commercial marketing or directly for processing industries. Some companies are only marketing Echinacea products while others are vertically integrated, involved from field cultivation, to processing (drying, extraction, product manufacture), to marketing.
In the recent European marketing survey book (Becker, 2000), E. purpurea is the most often used Echinacea species in Europe (Table 4.6). Company representative interviewees did provide separate reports on E. pallida. German companies dominate Echinacea product manufacturing in Europe.
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