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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Camposol works to defend water resources

Camposol works to defend water resources

Camposol is striving to reduce its water footprint, as a sustainable irrigation system is one of the biggest challenges in agriculture. For five years, Camposol has worked in cooperation with SuizAgua to measure the water footprint of its blueberry, avocado and tangerine production. The company also participates in the Blue Certificate programme led by the National Water Authority (ANA), which brings together companies that execute projects to protect water resources and generate shared value through work within the community. In 2019, Camposol was Peru’s first agribusiness company to obtain the certificate. Jorge Ramírez, CEO of Camposol, said: “All these initiatives are part of our strategy to reduce our impacts on the agroecosystem.” Meanwhile, to supplement production in Peru, Camposol is extending its avocado cultivation in Colombia, where it expects to reach 40,000 tons per year by 2025, thus approaching a year-round supply.

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Fresh produce value-chains are strategic for the organic sector

BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2020: Global sector gathering wows more than 47,000 trade visitors


A wide range of value-chain sessions and exhibitors were covered by Eurofresh Distribution magazine during Biofach expo. They testify to the growing strategic importance of providing healthier consumer products and more ethical solutions.


Boosting the organic sector
by integrating breeding
into value chain partnerships

Organised by FIBL with the contribution of Eurofresh Distribution, OPTA, Cotton Accelerator and Econatura, one of the panel sessions of Biofach debated how to foster and finance organic breeding, considering the new EU regulation which requires organic seed and planting material for organic crops. Certified organic planting materials still represent less than 30% of today’s organic crops. Even less is the ratio of specific organically bred varieties. All parties agreed that new value-added organic varieties are crucial to continue generating more value in the chain and to fuel increased consumption.


Network for a new vegan
organic standard

Forderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganer Anbau is the German and international association for promoting the “Biocyclic Vegan Standard” certified by IFOAM International. CEO Axel Anders argues that the vegan standard contributes to reducing environmental impacts, since animals have a higher CO2 footprint than plants. Germany is the major producing country so far with about 500ha of Vegan-certified crops. Certified Vegan wine, fruit and vegetables farms are emerging in France, Greece and Cyprus, with several other countries in transition, like Holland with 8 F&V producers.


Dr Saswati Bose, Deputy General Manager with her Marketing team /// © Pierre Escodo

India under transformation
towards organics

APEDA deputy general manager Dr Saswati Bose confirmed the gradual development of Indian organic production and consumption of fresh produce. This has also become one of the strategic goals of APEDA as the government agency in charge of promoting agribusiness exports. India exports US$515 million of organic products and produces 1.7 million tons. Its total organic area is 3.56 million ha, including 1.78 million ha (50%) cultivated.


Balcon de Ninjar's products at BIOFACH2020 /// © Pierre Escodo

Balcon de Nijar,
with more sustainable packaging

Since last November, the organic vegetables cooperative from Almería has marketed organic tomatoes with compostable sealed punnets, as well as new references for export markets like organic snowpea, Palermo peppers and dark beef tomatoes. Located in the Cabo de Gata natural park, Balcon de Nijar produces 50ha of organic greenhouse vegetables and exports 14 different varieties.


Barbara Gamper, Marketing Manager of Bonita, at BIOFACH2020 /// © Pierre Escodo

the new apple seduction by Bio Vinschgau

Part of the nº1 Italian apple group VIP, Bio Vinschgau is a cooperative fully dedicated to the organic cultivation of apples. It caused a sensation at Biofach with the presentation of the new “Bonita” organic apple for its flavour and attractiveness. With more than 90% “pinkish” red colouring, the variety is the result of a crossing between Topaze and CrispPink. 700 tons are available for its first commercial season. Bio Vinschgau also presented its new “Biography” project, which gives the consumer the opportunity to fully access the profile of the organic producer, with its name, story, photo gallery, videos and location. Bio Vinschgau incorporates 185 organic farmers, 1,000ha of organic orchards and 42,000 tons of certified crops. The VIP group markets a total of 350,000 tons.


Claire Bon & Ghariba Alilou, commercial managers at Compagnie des Pruneaux /// © Pierre Escodo

Compagnie des Pruneaux,
nº1 producer of organic prunes

With 120ha of own certified orchards, Compagnie des Pruneaux is the nº1 producer and confectioner of organic prunes in Europe, and the 3rd for conventional prunes. Founded by the Briscon family 50 years ago, the Compagnie pioneered organic production in the ‘80s. Recent investments of €13 million have helped to double production capacity. Prune puree is its major speciality, which the firm supplies to the dairy, bakery and children’s food industries.


Kiwiny's products at BIOFACH2020 © Pierre Escodo

the organic super fruit

Started 5 years ago, Kiwiny produces 27ha of organic kiwis and also develops value-added products. The firm presented a new line of energising wellness pouches based on kiwi and other fruit purees at Biofach.


Marilena Daugenti and Antonio Tarulli, owners and managers Of Gruppo Tarulli at BIOFACH2020 /// © Pierre Escodo

Gruppo Tarulli,
organic seedless grapes

With 300ha of certified plantations, Gruppo Tarulli is the leading organic and Demeter biodynamic producer of table grapes in Europe. The family company has long been dedicated to seedless varieties for export, selecting from the best breeders like IFG (Sugar Crisp and Jack Salute varieties). It supplies a large assortment of varieties for 5 months’ continued supply of red, black and white seedless varieties.


Yvonne Legros, at BIOFACH2020, CEO and founder of Legros Bio /// © Pierre Escodo

Legros Bio,
with large assortment of biodynamic produce

Specialists in Spanish organic products, the Legros Bio trading company has registered over 20% annual growth in its exports of biodynamic F&V. Based in Perpignan, Legros Bio exports more than 30 references of Spanish products, mainly supplying the German market.


Eva and Sven Van der Plas, directors and owners of Van der Plas Sprouts /// © Pierre Escodo

Van der Plas Sprouts,
with wider organic range

The family company is the number-one producer of young sprouts or newly germinated plants in Europe, exporting daily to all of Europe, and beyond (e.g. to Dubai). In Nürmberg, the firm presented a wider range of organic and very healthy sprouts with green pea, purple radish, and broccoli – all very nutritious and anti-oxidant. “All of our sprouts are grown under the Planet Proof environmental label,” said director Evan Vander Plas.

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Great expectations for BIOFACH CHINA 2020: a cross-industry communication platform

Great expectations for BIOFACH CHINA 2020: a cross-industry communication platform, credit. Biofach China


The wide product range on display at BIOFACH CHINA will include organic food and drinks, as well as organic cosmetic products and textiles. In 2020, BIOFACH CHINA will be take place concurrently with NATURAL EXPO CHINA 2020, allowing visitors to learn more about semi-natural products that are still in the process of becoming organically certified. The event will also host CRAFT BEER CHINA 2020, making it a truly cross-industry communication platform.


The World Plant Based Sustainability Forum at NATURAL EXPO CHINA will invite plant-based meat exhibitors to display their products and offer cooked food to visitors. The aim is to show eco-conscious meat lovers that switching to a vegan diet can be done without compromising taste, texture or quality of the protein.


Alongside the product displays, the diverse elements of the supporting programme will also draw crowds. The accompanying 14th International Organic Food Market and Development Conference will see 20 international speakers and 300 delegates offer a high-calibre programme covering the latest hot topics for the organic sector. The 2nd China Organic Maternal & Baby Marketing Development Summit at BIOFACH CHINA will provide inspiration, with marketing, sales and media experts in the maternal and child industry in attendance. Carrefour China signed a partnership agreement with BIOFACH CHINA as of 2019. The Organic Distributors Match Meeting aims to support the development of the organic industry by encouraging a direct procurement model for sales of organic food in China.

The main highlight of BIOFACH CHINA 2020 is its visitor interaction with both maternal and infant industry and catering industry. The event strives to find sales channels for brands and promote high-quality organic life concepts for the public. “That is what makes us different as a professional exhibition in the organic field,” said Jessica Pan, project director of NürnbergMesse China Co., Ltd.

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Nature’s Pride increases commitment to responsible water use

Nature’s Pride increases commitment to responsible water use

As part of its ongoing efforts in the field of responsible water use, Nature’s Pride announces it has successfully piloted GLOBALG.A.P.’s water add-on audit SPRING. Six strategic growers from Nature’s Pride in Peru and Chile achieved SPRING certification, thereby independently confirming the legality of water sources, best practices and continuous improvement in on-farm water management.

‘I’m very proud that the SPRING pilot independently confirms that Nature’s Pride’s dedicated growers in Peru and Chile have excellent on-farm water management practices,’ said Adriëlle Dankier, CEO of Nature’s Pride.  

SPRING stands for ‘Sustainable Programme for Irrigation and Groundwater Use’ and is GLOBALG.A.P.’s new water add-on audit. Early 2019, Nature’s Pride agreed with GLOBALG.A.P. to test SPRING with strategic growers in Peru and Chile. The past six months certification bodies and growers have been trained in the new standard and in August and September, 25 fields with various crops were audited. All growers passed the audit and are among the first in the world to achieve GLOBALG.A.P. SPRING certification. 

Around two years ago Nature’s Pride took a proactive role and started work to better understand how water is managed in its value chain and where the company can improve. The Water Policy of Nature’s Pride summarizes this journey and outlines long-term objectives and hands-on actions. The company started mapping water risk in its value chain, initiated collaborations with expert organizations, and initiated action on the ground of which the SPRING pilot is a notable example.

The SPRING pilot is part of a wider commitment from Nature’s Pride to responsible water use which includes action on various levels: procurement practices, sector engagement and collective action in priority catchments. 

‘It’s in our nature to put people and the environment at the heart of our operations,’ said Adriëlle Dankier. ‘Water is one of the most precious natural resources and we need to protect it for future generations. We will roll-out SPRING to other growers and will continue to engage with key stakeholders in our value chain to promote responsible water use in our sector together.’ 

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America’s berry sector commits to recyclable packaging

America’s berry sector commits to recyclable packaging

The berry sector is taking an important step in the direction of sustainability with the announcement by a group of major North American fresh berry producers that they will commit to using 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025. The group includes the California Strawberry Commission, the North American Blueberry Council, Mexico’s Asociación National de Exportadores de Berries, the National Berry Crops Initiative, and South American exporters.

In his statement, Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission, said: “Berry farming has a long history of innovation and leadership that once again came together to make this ambitious pledge. Achieving 100 percent recycle-ready packaging represents the type of continuous improvement that is common among farmers as they strive for ever improving efficiency.”

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Increasing interest in the German market for the Intense tomato

Increasing interest in the German market for the Intense tomato, credit: Valstar Holland B.V.
© Valstar Holland B.V.


The tomato you didn’t know you needed

Does this sound familiar? When you’re slicing a tomato, the chopping board is covered in juice and the slices fall apart. Or, you take a freshly made tomato sandwich to work or school in the morning and by lunchtime all you’re left with is soggy bread soaked in tomato juice. But not with the Intense tomato! It’s perfect for slicing and dicing, retaining both its firm structure and its juice. This makes Intense tomatoes ideal for sandwiches, bruschetta, salads and pizzas. The easy way to add more freshness and flavour to your food!

The tomato stands out for its unique properties and should therefore not be missing on the vegetable shelf. It is a good addition to have with all other tomatoes. The product has been available on the German market for a number of years now and the number of consumers buying these tomatoes are still growing.

Research of the Intense among Germans has shown that they find no matching properties with other tomatoes and none as convincing as this tomato. What is especially positive, is the solid flesh which is ideal for slicing the tomato and the low loss of juice. Because of these characteristics, many consumers remain loyal to the brand, 87% therefore consider themselves a fan.

The Intense tomato has been presented in style at the Valstar stand during the Fruit Logistica. Valstar handed out some toast with a perfect slice of tomato and visitors enjoyed tomato carpaccio with a little bit pesto. A great success!

© Valstar Holland B.V.


New, sustainable packaging

Valstar has developed a new package to better highlight the characteristics of the Intense tomato. Under the Intense logo “die Schnittfeste” has been added to emphasise the firm structure of the tomato. The most used applications are shown and you will find a recipe for pizza and sandwich on the packaging. In this way it is clear at a glance what the tomato is suited for.

The theme of sustainability cannot be missed. The new packaging consists for the most part of cardboard, which is made from 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. But why then a plastic window? The reason for this is partly to protect the product. In addition, the research showed that visibility of the product is very important for the consumer to assess the condition of the tomato. Nobody wants to come home with damaged tomatoes. The window consists of PLA (Polyactic acid) foil, this bioplastic is made from a renewable, vegetable source and is compostable.

© Valstar Holland B.V.


For inquiries: Henny van de Wetering, Valstar Holland B.V.,, 


Source: Press Release
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SHAFFE’s future will be sustainable

SHAFFE’s future will be sustainable


The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters (SHAFFE) announced at its Annual General Meeting at Fruit Logistica in Berlin that it will be paying increasing attention to sustainability matters and climatic challenges. This was the message communicated by Konanani Liphadzi, CEO of Fruit SA and president of SHAFFE. The association also discussed the potential repercussions of the EU’s Green Deal for the international fruit trade and welcomed a new member, Brazil’s exporter organisation Abrafrutas.

Besides discussing how the association will respond to climatic challenge and handle matters related to social and labour rights, the meeting focused on reviewing the current situation in the Southern Hemisphere countries with regards to legal and volunteering initiatives. SHAFFE members will continue throughout 2020 to consider SPS, TBT and NTB market access barriers in the three key markets of Europe, Asia and the US and observe the ongoing international developments to tackle environmental challenges.

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Biofach registers record number of exhibitors

Biofach registers record number of exhibitors
© Pierre Escodo


Europe’s leading organic trade fair Biofach/Vivaness  attracted 519 new exhibitors, making a total of 3,792 exhibitors from 110 countries in a display area of 57,609 m². The number of visitors, however, fell by 4,500, no doubt due to fears around the coronavirus. According to NürnbergMesse, there were over 47,000 trade buyers from 136 countries viewing the products, trends and innovations from all over the world in two additional halls. The top five countries by visitor attendance were Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Petra Wolf, a member of the management board of NürnbergMesse, said, “We are really pleased that Biofach and Vivaness once again brought together more than 47,000 trade visitors in Nuremberg for the annual sector gathering in 2020. That’s only eight percent less than last year, in spite of the hesitation caused by the coronavirus. The chief focus in the exhibition halls was on networking, trade and interaction on topics of interest to the sector. The general atmosphere was highly positive, and the emotional highlight was beyond doubt the extremely impressive Dr Jane Goodall with her keynote.”

Best New Product Awards

Trade visitors voted for their favourites to win the Best New Product Award in seven categories. Käserebellen GmbH was one of the happy winners at BIOFACH with its Organic Volcano Rebell (Fresh food). HANS Brainfood impressed the trade visitors with its “Hemp Bites” in the “Grocery products, snacks and sweets” category. “RETTERGUT organic soups” from Dörrwerk won a Best New Product Award in the “Other grocery products” category. 

Next year’s edition will take place on 17-20 February 2021. Almost 95% of this year’s visitors have already blocked these dates out, to be sure of attending again next year.

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Food Chain Partnership in the Netherlands

Bayer: Food Chain Partnership in the Netherlands

The Bayer Exhibitor Forum focused on responsible food production and the main challenges facing the fresh produce sector along the path to a more sustainable future. 


During the recent Bayer Exhibitor Forum, held at Fruit Logistica, Berlin, Frank Terhorst, head of crop strategy and portfolio manager at Bayer Crop Science, stated that innovation and digitalisation are the company´s key pillars for sustainable production. Bayer’s mission is to deliver world-class innovation as a pioneer in digital transformation and setting new standards of sustainability through tailored solutions. Among the firm’s sustainability commitments, the most outstanding ones are: reducing field greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, decreasing the environmental impact of crop protection by 30%, and empowering smallholder farmers to access sustainable agricultural solutions. With a firm commitment to the fresh produce sector, Bayer is dedicated to developing innovative solutions for horticulture production, driving digitally enabled tailored solutions for farms, and further enhancing food chain activities beyond the farm. “The Food Chain Partnership business model provides sustainable crop solutions to growers worldwide,” said Terhorst.

An eye on the future 

One of the biggest challenges on the global scale is the constantly growing demand for food due to the increasing population, which places a huge pressure on the planetary ecosystem. Hunger, malnutrition, obesity and diabetes are also playing important roles. As a potential solution, Ernst van den Ende, managing director of the Plant Sciences Group at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, proposes a second “green revolution”, which brings new diets supported by healthy lifestyle principles, along with environmental care, good agricultural practices, and nutritional crops, but also with more severe parameters for food safety and ecology. 

Nowadays, farm fields are one of the biggest contributors of CO2, after the coal and gas industries. That is why Dutch science journalist Hidde Boersma thinks it is necessary to use less surface area for agricultural purposes while producing more. “We should return land to nature,” said Boersma, who argues for a form of ecomodernism based on the belief that intensive agriculture, large-scale urbanisation, and investments in high-tech clean energy are the best ways to become a prosperous green planet.