European Organic Congress 2021

European Organic Congress 2021 to take place online from Lisbon on 16-18 June 2021

The European Organic Congress by IFOAM, with the title “Organic’s contribution to the European Green Deal”, aims this year to inspire the participants by focusing on how the agri-food sector’s initiatives enhance the transition towards a more sustainable food system, through the aid of leading examples from representatives and experts amidst the organic sector. The New EU Organic Regulation 848/2018 will also be explored, while focusing on its implications for the objective of 25% EU organic land by 2030. We will dive deep into how organic districts, living labs and farm demonstrations contribute to rural development and the success of the Organic Action Plan. Moreover, organic’s contribution to climate change mitigation, with the EU Green Deal, the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies and last but not least, the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) will be key themes for the Congress’ debates.

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GLOBALG.A.P. launched new GGN Label

GLOBALG.A.P. launched the GGN label © GLOBALG.A.P.


A cross-category consumer label to make responsible farming visible

Cologne, Germany (27 April 2021) – GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH launched its consumerfacing initiative, the GGN label, during an online event on 27 April. International stakeholders from the agriculture and retail sectors were invited to the unveiling event during which GLOBALG.A.P. experts presented the new GGN label. GLOBALG.A.P. also announced that the new GGN label can now be applied to fruit and vegetables as well. Unlike the previous GGN labels, which were specific to aquaculture and floriculture products, the new GGN label is a universal, cross-category label.

The GGN Label – “All in One”

Since consumers have one shopping list and are looking for consistent orientation across different product categories, GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH has decided to move from two scopespecific labels to one uniform label for all categories. The new GGN label stands for certified, responsible farming and transparency. Available for both packed and loose fresh products, the new label is available to producers, retailers, traders, packers and restaurant chains starting April 2021. 

“Transparency is at the heart of the GGN label. We help consumers to discover the roots of their products while helping the businesses who practice and support responsible farming showcase this. Together we’re taking transparency to the next level”, says Kristian Moeller, Managing Director at GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH.

The 5th Anniversary of the GGN Label

GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH introduced its consumer-facing initiative, the GGN label, five years ago. It was first launched in 2016 for aquaculture products, followed by floriculture products in 2017. Now in 2021, fruit and vegetables are also included. All products with the GGN label come from a farm whose production process has been independently certified according to international GLOBALG.A.P. standards or one of the standards that is recognized by GLOBALG.A.P. as equivalent. These standards are holistic in nature and cover food safety, sustainability, environmental protection, animal welfare, workers’ health and safety, and supply chain transparency. All these aspects of responsible farming come together under the GGN label, which provides transparency through unique 13-digit identification numbers that are linked to supply chain actors with GLOBALG.A.P. certification.

These GLOBALG.A.P. Numbers correspond with profiles on the GGN label portal (, allowing consumers to find the roots of their product. 576 farm profiles are already online. Click here to learn more about the GGN label.

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Organto finances further growth

Organto finances further growth © Organto

© Organto


Organto’s financing initiative, involving the sale of convertible notes, was significantly over-subscribed with gross proceeds of CDN$4,630,000, including strong participation from insiders and existing shareholders as well as a diverse group of investors located in Canada, Mexico, and for the first time in the Netherlands, according to StreetInsider. The financing should see the further expansion of the provider of organic and value-added organic fruits and vegetables. 

Rients van der Wal, co-CEO and CEO of Organto Europe BV, said: “We are extremely pleased to close this financing, which was very well received and over-subscribed. The proceeds will be used to fund our aggressive growth plans including achieving our previously announced target revenues for fiscal 2021 of CDN $35 to $37 million, an approximate 200% increase over 2020, including an expected annualized revenue run rate of CDN $50 million by the end of 2021. We believe that demand for fresh organic fruits and vegetables will continue to grow globally, driven by increased consumer interest in healthy foods that are produced in a sustainable and transparent manner, and this presents an exciting opportunity for Organto. We continue to make great progress, leveraging both the strong market demand and our cost effective and flexible business model to drive record results.”

The Convertible Notes issued as part of this financing have a term of two years, maturing in December 2022 and January 2023. The Notes carry an annual interest rate of 8% (payable annually), and are convertible into common shares of Organto (TSXV:OGO) at a price of CDN $0.30 per share. If at any time after four months from the date of issuance of the Notes, the closing price of Organto’s common shares as traded on the TSX Venture Exchange is equal to or greater than CDN $0.45 for 10 consecutive trading days or more, Organto may, in its sole discretion, accelerate conversion of the Notes. There is no pre-payment penalty.

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Innovative compostable film packaging to extend shelf life

Innovative compostable film packaging to extend shelf life - TIPA and Perfotec © Perfotec

© TIPA and Perfotec


Compostable packaging producer TIPA and shelf-life extension specialist PerfoTec have teamed up to create laser micro-perforated compostable film packaging that can extend the shelf-life of fresh produce. The packaging performs as conventional plastic but decomposes in compost back into the soil with no toxic residue, microplastics or other pollutants.

The partnership comes in response to consumer demand to reduce food waste and combat plastic pollution, as some 85% of UK consumers believe compostable packaging should be used to wrap food as an alternative to plastic.

“After months of trials with this film, we realised that TIPA’s compostable film combined with PerfoTec’s patented laser perforation provided the best shelf-life for fruits, vegetables and flowers by far. It provides longer shelf-life and freshness which means fewer quality losses, less food waste and cost savings for producers and retailers,” said PerfoTec’s CEO Bas Groeneweg. “Partnering with TIPA to create compostable packaging that can outperform conventional plastic is a hugely exciting step forward for sustainable packaging. We’re delighted to be playing our part in the stride against quality losses, food waste and plastic pollution.”

Ayellet Zinger, VP of sales for TIPA said: “In combining our technologies, TIPA and PerfoTec form a synergistic partnership that optimises flexible packaging for produce. We have created an exceptional product that extends the shelf-life of fruit, vegetables and flowers with a protective and fully compostable film that decomposes just like the product it’s packaging. TIPA and PerfoTec bring huge added value for flexible produce packaging, reducing food and packaging waste, and providing solutions for the future of sustainable packaging.”

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San Telmo and Ecoembes unite for a sustainable future

San Telmo and Ecoembes unite for a sustainable future

San Telmo Business School, which trains senior managers of consumer goods companies has teamed up with and Ecoembes, a non-profit environmental organisation that coordinates the recycling of packaging throughout Spain, in an alliance to jointly promote the role of companies in creating a circular economy, as well as to identify possible public-private collaboration strategies for the same purpose.

Both institutions promote the added value that sustainability brings to companies in Spain to satisfy consumer demand. Thus, within this alliance, various practical sessions will be held, along with round tables with leading CEOs, traveling classrooms and tailor-made projects for specific companies. A key event will be a discussion titled: “Public-private collaboration as a boost to the Circular Economy”, which will feature, from the San Telmo Business School, Enrique Garrido, and the CEO of Ecoembes, Óscar Martín.

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Edeka expands Apeel to grapefruits and lemons

Edeka expands Apeel to grapefruits and lemons © Edeka

© Edeka


As of the start of this year, grapefruits and lemons also receive the plant-based Apeel protective coat. The longer-lasting vitamin C miracles are now available throughout Germany at Edeka, Marktkauf and Netto Marken-Discount. They are the newest members of the Apeel range after avocados, oranges, clementines and mandarins. The Edeka network is thus expanding its commitment to increasingly sustainable ranges and is once again setting a sign in the fight against food waste.

According to the Food Report 2020 of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), 12 million tons of total or about 75 kilograms of food per person are disposed of in Germany every year. The Apeel formula of plant origin gives the surface of fresh products a kind of second skin, which acts like an additional protective coat. The Apeel protective layer ensures that less water from the inside can evaporate through the actual shell and at the same time less oxygen can penetrate from the outside.

An optimal microclimate is created under the second skin: the fruit can continue to breathe while the maturation process slows down considerably. This means that Apeel products stay fresh for longer – with an unchanged enjoyment experience, as neither the taste nor the smell of the food is affected.

The shelf life of the products is significantly extended by Apeel – with consistently high quality. At the beginning of 2020, a pilot trial in 2,900 Edeka markets and net stores over twelve weeks showed that the amount of avocados that had to be sorted out in the market was reduced by 50% thanks to Apeel, while customer demand in the participating markets increased significantly.

Apeel is an innovative process developed by the US company Apeel. Vegetable fats – lipids and glycerolipids – are used, which are contained in the skins, seeds and pulp of all fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, the Apeel protective layer consists of components that are also consumed regularly as part of a normal diet. Thus, Apeel differs in principle from approaches in which a synthetically produced sugar derivative is applied.

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Melinda and Novamont team up for circular bio-economy

Melinda and Novamont team up for circular bio-economy © Melinda and Novamont

© Melinda and Novamont


Melinda and Novamont have teamed up to launch a more sustainable form of packaging. Begun last October, general director of Melinda, Paolo Gerevini, said the strategy is aimed at defining “who we are and what we want to become”. The totally compostable solution for organic apples that comes from Melinda’s processing waste.

Managing director of Novamont, Catia Bastioli, said: “We thank Melinda and La Trentina for choosing to experiment with us on pioneering solutions to regenerate natural resources. This collaboration in the field of the circular bioeconomy allows us to learn by doing.”

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Carrefour launched 157 new organic products in 2020

Carrefour launched 157 new organic products in 2020
Photo: Carrefour

In total, the French supermarket chain has more than 400 organic farming and livestock references, sold under the Carrefour Bio brand. In 2020 alone, Carrefour Bio launched 157 new products. In addition, and to promote both the production and the consumption of these types of articles, Carrefour develops a series of initiatives such as the elimination of VAT on fresh organic products and collaboration with Spanish farmers to develop these products.

Carrefour has maintained at all times its commitment to sustainable development in the production and distribution of these products. It has also reinforced the commitment to local producers, since it also relies on the transformation of its production model. The purpose is none other than to promote the importance of the ecological world in the current food environment, as well as to help adapt new consumption and living habits that are more respectful with the environment.

It was in 2017 when Carrefour opened the first supermarket of a distribution chain dedicated exclusively to the commercialization of organic products. A pioneering event that took place in Madrid’s Velarde street and that continued with three other Carrefour Bio: another in Madrid, in the Corredera Baja de San Pablo, and two in Barcelona, ​​in Carrer de Sants and Travessera de Gracia.

Carrefour’s Soft Bio  range contains items made entirely with raw materials from organic farming and of natural origin. All of them under the Eco Cert Cosmos Organic seal, which certifies that it has been made following ecological production processes, with respect for biodiversity, with a responsible use of natural resources and recyclable packaging.


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Amcor launches first recyclable shrink bag for meat, poultry, and cheese

Amcor launches first recyclable shrink bag for meat, poultry, and cheese


Amcor Eco-Tite® R is a new PVDC-free, fully recyclable shrink bag for meat and cheese.

Zurich, Switzerland – Amcor, a global leader in packaging, has today launched Eco-Tite® R in Europe, the first designed to be recycled, PVDC-free shrink bag for fresh and processed meat, poultry and some cheeses.  Amcor Eco-Tite® R is designed to maximise shelf-life, maintain food safety, reduce food waste and can be recycled in existing polyethylene (PE) plastic recycling streams.* This means that more consumers will be able to recycle their meat, poultry and cheese packaging, while enjoying the benefits of longer lasting food.

“Through our packaging expertise and commitment to sustainability, the team has overcome a challenge for the industry; developing a high performance shrink bag that’s PVDC-free and recyclable, while maintaining food safety. This is a great step-forward for consumers and an example of how the removal of problematic materials from packaging – something the industry is increasingly focussed on delivering – can provide us with safe, secure and recyclable packaging,” said Rosalia Rosalinova, Marketing Manager for Meat and Fresh Produce at Amcor.

Amcor Eco-Tite® R is a multi-layer, mono-PE packaging which maintains a high barrier to oxygen and water vapour even when exposed to high-moisture environments, such as cooler cases and refrigerators. This solution provides European meat and cheese producers an alternative to PVDC packaging – which is not recyclable in mechanical or chemical recycling systems.

To validate recyclability in real-world conditions, Amcor Eco-Tite® R has been certified by the cyclos-HTP institute, an independent testing lab. Consumers can today recycle the bag where suitable infrastructure is in place, including Germany, France and Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Austria and Spain. Recyclability of the new shrink bag will grow as infrastructure develops in additional countries.

This innovation also supports Amcor’s broader commitment to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025, which it committed to in 2018 as part of its pledge.


Learn more about Amcor Eco-Tite® R shrink bag HERE.  


*European countries with suitable polyethylene (PE) recycling steams currently include Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Austria and Spain.
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Nature’s Pride launches more sustainable avocado packaging

Nature’s Pride launches more sustainable avocado packaging © Nature’s Pride

© Nature’s Pride


In line with the firm’s plan to increase the sustainability of its packaging, Nature’s Pride is introducing 100% cardboard packaging for avocados. This packaging represents a huge step in reducing plastic usage. In addition, it consists of just a single type of material, cardboard. This means it can be fully recycled and eliminates the need for a label. 

The new avocado packaging is made of 100% recyclable, certified cardboard. By implementing this change with just the 2-packs, the company will reduce its use of plastic by 52,000 kg annually. As well as being more sustainable, the new packaging also cuts down on transport movements of the flat folded packaging: 21 fewer trailers compared with 2019. 

The design of the new avocado packaging still offers good product visibility and representation of the EAT ME brand. The pack also displays relevant information for consumers, including the nutritional values of the product. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, this aspect has become a key purchasing argument for consumers. 

The new avocado packaging will have a phased introduction at the customers. Following the trend set with the avocado packaging, Nature’s Pride will also introduce more sustainable packaging for mangos, kiwis, passion fruit and chillies in the future. Read Nature’s Pride’s complete sustainable business plan at: