Bio & Sustainability
￼New production site enables rapid response for Aphidoletes gall midge demand
The new EU organic regulation
The new EU organic regulation will apply from 1 January 2021 and incorporates several important changes for food producers. One is the exclusion of food containing or consisting of engineered nanomaterials. Another relates to group certification, which is currently only allowed in developing Third Countries. With the new regulation it will be allowed everywhere in the world, including the EU. Group certification means that a certain number of small farmers can be certified as a single entity.
Early supplies of organic summer vegetables start to run low
Heat waves across Germany have brought forward ripening of many of the country’s organic vegetable crops. By May, salads, radishes and kale were all available. However, after the initial waves of supplies, shortages are beginning to appear, such as with cauliflower and broccoli and prices are on the rise.
Organic farming in Flanders grows by 6%
The Flanders organic sector continued its growth in 2017, both in terms of production and consumption. The number of Flemish farms operating organic production increased from 430 to 468. The organic and conversion area in Flanders increased by 6% from 6,960 to 7,367 hectares and accounts for approximately 1.2% of the total Flemish agricultural area (620,380 hectares in 2016). The 35 largest organic companies own have almost half of the overall organic area.
REO supports zero residue practices in Flanders
The Flemish agricultural industry’s REO authority is supporting its growers attempts to meet the increasing demand for organic vegetables with a new initiative called ‘Zéro Résidu du Pesticides’. This collective was first started by the Rougeline producers in the south of France and already has around 20 agricultural cooperatives behind the label. A key difference between zero residues and organic is that the participating producers do not have to commit their entire industrial area to the project, thereby lowering the threshold to participation.
Italy leads the way in microcosm cultivation
Italy’s national agency for technological innovation (ENEA) has devised a way to set up a hi-tech micro-plot in your house. This represents the first microcosm for indoor and extreme-environment cultivation of root and aerial plants (fruit-bearing trees, lettuce, basil, tomatoes, potatoes).
Human pollinators do bees’ work in rural China
The world’s pear capital, Hanyuan county in China, is suffering the effects of pesticide use which has led to a drastic reduction in the area’s bee population. To avert the crisis, farm labourers have resorted to pollinating fruit trees artificially, by transferring pollen from male flowers to female flowers to fertilise them.
UPA calls for calm as Xylella fastidiosa bacteria detected in Andalusia
The first case of Xylella fastidiosa has appeared in Andalusia in ornamental plants of the Polygala myrtifolia species in El Ejido (Almería). Xylella fastidiosa is a bacteria that affects olive trees, almonds, grapes and citrus fruits, among other species. The region’s union of small famers (UPA) has appealed for calm as they believe this is but an isolated case which is totally under control.
Biobest opens new production facility for biological controllers of aphids
On 24th April, Biobest announced the opening of a new €1.2 million state-of-the-art production facility at Biobest Maroc. The brand new facility covers an area of 2000 m2 and is equipped with climate cells. These climate cells are comparable to the concept of 'vertical farming'. This is part of Biobest’s ongoing strategy to enlarge and improve its worldwide production capacity of organic pesticides against aphids.
German farmers expand organic production to serve growing demand
German consumers have an insatiable demand for organic food, as borne out by the 6% increase in household income spent on organics in 2017. Production needs to adjust to this rising demand, which has seen consumer spending on organics exceed €10 billion. The strongest sales drivers are dairy, meat and dry organics. However, after years of little growth, Germany’s organic farming area started to grow once more in 2016, with an increase of nearly 15%.