The 4th International Biofruit Congress, on organic demand and sustainable supply, kicked off on June 17 with a digital session held on LiveConnect at ifema.es.
“How to satisfy the more demanding consumers?” was the theme for the session, the first of what will be two Biofruit Congress sessions this year.
Eurofresh Distribution editor Pierre Escodo began the session with an overview of the latest trends in organic food sales in Europe, a market he said is now worth €45 billion. Profiling organic retail in the three key markets of Germany, France and the UK, Escodo pointed out differences in the share that specialist organic food retailers hold of total organic food retail sales in each of these countries, with respective figures of 26.5%, 28% and 17%.
Next, Madjid Aidh, marketing manager at Perpignan-based organic fruit and vegetable specialist Alterbio, shared insights into the French organic market. He said Alterbio’s goal is to federate local organic growers in order to deliver a “quality and authentic offering to the market.” He also said Alterbio applies rigorous specifications, “going beyond the European certification of organic farming.”
The next segment, on retail strategies in Spain and Portugal, featured Sergio Roman, the head of Alcampo Controlled Production; David Monteiro, perishables director at Sonae MC; and Pablo Vilanova, strategy manager at Mercabarna.
Rounding off the session was a debate on the topic of “Sustainability: the importance of communicating with the consumer”, with a panel consisting of María Dolores Cano Molina, Proexport Technical and Environmental Manager; and Nicolas Leger, Fairtrade International banana expert.
The second Biofruit Congress will take place live at the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid from 3-5pm on October 5. Highlights will include a presentation on how the new EU organic regulation will be applied, input from major retail leaders on the state of organic food retail, analysis of how other value-chains are competing with organics, and a debate on sustainability.