PotatoEurope Germany 2022 – the leading meeting place for the potato industry!

The Rittergut Bockerode near Hanover will again be the central meeting point for the potato industry on September 7th and 8th, 2022. We are preparing an exhibition and demonstration area for you on over 30 hectares of arable land. Become part of the event and a member of the ‘potato’ value chain.

Machinery Demonstrations

The demonstrations are intended for agricultural machinery companies. Show your machines live in practice, laying, clearing,loading and mechanical weed control:

  • The diversity of modern planting machinery
  • Focus on gentle treatment of tubers and harvesting performance
  • Loading lines from different manufacturers – fast, clean, gentle – live comparisons
  • Whether harrows, hoes and ridgers can be a substitute for herbicides? Demonstration for mechanical weed control
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EU campaign “European Organic Juices”: a success in Dubai

EU campaign “European Organic Juices”: a success in Dubai

A Product Presentation Event for the promotion of Organic juices took place on the 17th February 2020, at Radisson Blu Hotel in Deira, Dubai, through the EU campaign “European Organic Juices”.

This event concerns the promotion of organic fruit juices (cherry, apple and pomegranate juices) to the markets of Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). Each product is represented by one partner. Organic pomegranate juice is represented by ASOP a producer’s organization, organic cherry juice is represented by BNHU a non-profit trade organization and organic apple juice is represented by BIOROMANIA, an association of entities (organization, producers) that are activated in the organic farming sector.

For the specific purpose, travelled in UAE representatives of the program operators, Mr. Vlad Ciocianou representative of Bioromania and Ms. Mariana Miltenova representative of Bulgarian National Horticultural Union. At the hotel hall gathered company representatives and journalists who had the opportunity to ask questions about the production process of fruits, juices production, preserved and transported.

Event agenda included presentations of the main bodies of the program, B2B meetings with traders, tastings and discussion among the attendees concluded with a lunch for all.

Both actions implemented, through the EU campaign “European Organic Juices” and main purpose is to disseminate quality European agri-food products.

Particular interest was shown by representatives of the UAE trade world for the excellent organic juices from Europe. Both tastes and quality match perfectly with the public, making UAE a new potential market.

 

Source: Press Release
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Bioworld expands with growing market demand

Job van den Berg on Bioworld stand at Fruit Logistica 2020 // © Eurofresh Distribution

 

Bioworld started as a vegetable trader and now specialises in growing organic vegetables for the European market. Since its shift, Bioworld has expanded from greenhouse vegetables to open field crops. “Our philosophy as a company is to supply organic vegetables all-year-round,” said Job van den Berg, managing director of Bioworld. Bioworld has invested in 24 hectares of land in the Netherlands and 40 hectares in Spain to meet the growing demand. It also focuses on importing sweet potatoes, avocados, ginger, turmeric, and pineapples.

Currently, Bioworld’s top markets are Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavian countries. The demand for organic products in this region is increasing. “People in these markets are becoming more conscious. The market wants to know where the product is sourced,” says Van den Berg.

Germany remains the biggest market in terms of volume. “German supermarkets helped in the growth of demand. Because of Germany’s size and population, a 7% market share is comparably bigger than a 15% market share in Denmark,” adds Van den Berg. Aside from retailers, Bioworld also supplies to wholesale companies and is expanding to the industrial and the foodservice sector.

Furthermore, the market behaviour in Europe is moving towards health and environmental consciousness. “There are consumers that know organic products are beneficial to their health, and to the environment. That market is growing, and people are willing to pay more, but the price is definitely a factor they consider. Consumers are also demanding less plastic packaging. This is a challenge because some products without plastic seals will have shorter shelf-life. We are developing the right packaging to meet the consumer’s demands,” said Van den Berg.

Along with the growing demand for the product is the challenge of the lower costs of its competitors. Bioworld faces the threat of competitors who do not fully comply with the standards needed for organic production but still brand themselves as organic. Van den Berg remains confident that the company can overcome these kinds of challenges. “Retailers are prioritising reputation and track record. I would say, Bioworld is the biggest company dedicated to and specialised in producing organic produce in the Netherlands,” adds Van den Berg.

Bioworld is now moving forward in improving precision in production and developing packaging alternatives for its products. The firm will also be launching a global campaign next month to promote organic food called “I am Earth”. It also runs a bee conservation programme called Bee Earth.

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Algeciras Port improves its connectivity with Latin America

Credit: Algeciras Port

 

Handling 4.7 million tons or 37% of the Spanish horticultural cargoes, Algeciras Bay Port became one of the principal ports for fruit & vegetables operators  

 

The Port of Algeciras is the largest Mediterranean port for all cargo traffic and the largest Spanish port. It is located in the Strait of Gibraltar, a transit way for 9 out of 20 principal maritime routes. Thanks to the strategic geographical location of Algeciras Port, it operates as the distribution centre for Southern Europe, Mediterranean countries and Northern Africa.

“Our current connectivity along with our competitive transit times make Algeciras the natural gateway for reefer cargo coming from Latin America and heading to South Europe, North Africa and Med” says J. Javier Lopez, Head of commercial division. “We connect directly with more than 200 ports, it takes just 7 days to come from Natal (North Brazil) and we are one hour away from Morocco by RORO and feeder service”

As a novelty in 2019, Algeciras has improved its transit times for import flows coming from some of the main producing countries in Latin America as Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and Dominican Republic.

A wide range of services
offered by the Port community companies

With 109,4 million tons of total cargo (2019), the Port of Algeciras ranks the fourth among top EU ports. “We handle nearly 380,000 TEUS of import- export full cargo, some 56,000 TEUS of them are reefers, which is very important for us,” informs Mr. Lopez. “Furthermore, our Port community is highly specialised in reefer cargo, and the largest fruit exporters from South America keep trusting in our port capabilities.”  The current cold storage capacity in the port and surrounding area exceeds 30,000 pallets, and a wide range of services for refrigerated and frozen goods is offered. These companies cover load, storage, cargo consolidation and distribution to customer centers. They also handle custom office paperwork or quality controls, providing an extra value throughout the import and export process. Thanks to the unique border inspection post open for 24 hours 365 days a year, perishable commodities are released within 24 hours upon arrival. At present, most part of the Spanish horticultural cargoes (4.7 million tons or 37%) is carried out through Algeciras Bay Port.

The Port of Algeciras has 2 terminals: APMT and TTI-Algeciras, which was the first semiautomatic terminal in South Europe. They jointly fulfil 5.000 reefer connexions. New container services from Latin America and South Africa have emerged, ship capacity has increased, growing yearly around 10%, and the Port has been optimizing and automatizing all the logistic processes to become more efficient yet. Thanks to constant investment into its infrastructure, the Port of Algeciras can attend to the megaships (+23,000 TEUS) of the three shipping Alliances: 2M, The Alliance and Ocean Alliance.

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Mushroom companies seeking innovation

Edward Vonk on Banken Champignons Group stand at Fruit Logistica 2020 // © Eurofresh Distribution

 

The Western European market is eating less meat and vegan options are gaining traction. With this, the interest in mushrooms as protein-rich alternatives is also growing.  Banken Champignons, a proud Dutch mushroom specialist, is continuously pushing new ways to prepare mushrooms, working together with Westland Mushrooms to release innovative products such as cordyceps and pulled mushrooms.

 

cordyceps Mushroom - credit. Banken Champignons Group

© Banken Champignons Group

 

Under the same holding company as Banken Champignons Group, Banken Champignons is working together with Westland Mushrooms to launch cordyceps, its latest cultivations in the line of exotic mushrooms. Westland is a specialist in exotic mushrooms with its main market in the food service industry, while Banken Champignons is focused on the consumer and retail market as well as the food service industry. These innovative products have been launched in Spain and in Western Europe.

Made from smoked oyster mushrooms, pulled mushrooms are able to mimic the look and taste of pulled pork. The product was first launched in Western Europe and the Scandinavian region in January 2020. “Pulled Mushrooms are one of the many innovative products offered by our company. Our goal is to make preparations faster and easier for our consumers,” said Edward Vonk, marketing manager of Banken Champignons.

Pulled Mushroom - credit. Banken Champignons Group

© Banken Champignons Group

The growing concern for the environment now puts sustainability at the forefront of business initiatives and Banken Champignons sees sustainability in product packaging as a priority. As such, the company has developed new packaging made of cardboard which, in time, will replace plastic for all its retail goods.

Established in 1955 in the Netherlands, Banken Champignons Group extends its passion for mushrooms to consumers through innovative and exotic options. The company specialises in sourcing, producing, and packing a wide variety of mushrooms, and selling ready-to-eat options for consumers, such as the meal kits introduced in 2015 which contain mushroom varieties for different types of cooking /dishes. ‘The mushrooms to combine’ kits, which include Mushrooms for Pasta and Mushrooms for Meat versions, are aimed at introducing consumers to the various mushroom varieties and providing guidance in the preparation.

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Recovery of EU apple prices this season

Recovery of EU apple prices this season

 

EU apple prices during the ongoing campaign are significantly above the average for the past five years, due to the small crop. According to Wapa/Prognosfruit data, this campaign’s crop is down 20% from the preceding year and 11% below the 5-year average.  Compared to the challenging 2018/19 campaign (excess of supply in some Member States, especially in Poland), 2019/20 has seen a great recovery in the sector. EU apple stocks on 1st December 2019 were at their lowest level since 2012.

Although the average EU apple price this campaign is well above five-year average, there are some divergences between Member States. Poland’s prices have seen the greatest recovery. French apple prices are above average but lower than the preceding campaign, as the French crop is actually larger this season. Meanwhile, German prices were slightly above average and Italian prices have recovered gradually from a difficult end to the previous marketing year.

For prices to remain high, EU internal demand will need to stay high. A mild winter could thwart this aim by dampening demand.

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“Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships” workshop

"Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships" workshop

FiBL workshop “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships” focused yesterday morning (13/02/2020) on how to foster and finance the breeding and the selection of organic varieties. It was organised with the collaboration of Eurofresh Distribution magazine, OPTA, Cotton Accelerator and Econatura.

Still less than 30% of organic crops come from organic seed & plants in Europe (less than 10% worldwide). Major changes shall happen by 2036 to fulfill with the new EU regulation.

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Organic food sales surpass $100 billion

Organic food sales surpass $100 billion, Source: FiBL and AMI

With organic demand rising across the world, markets are changing as large-scale retailers push for greater market share and seek to outdo one another to establish their green credentials. 

The world appears to be decisively turning its back on practices that are unethical and damaging for the planet. This is evidenced by the worldwide boom in sales of organic food and drink, which surpassed the US$100 billion mark for the first time in 2018, with global revenue increasing by 6% to $105 billion, according to a report published by Ecovia Intelligence. The largest markets are North America and Europe, which account for a combined 90% of the world’s consumption of organics. While sales remain concentrated in the West, the share has declined from the 2005 level of 97%, with organic sales growing in China, India and Brazil. Denmark has the highest per capita consumption of organics in Europe, and this is reflected in the fact that organic products receive great prominence on the shelves of the country’s general retailers. In fact, 96% of all organic sales in the Scandinavian country occur in general retailers (source: FiBL and AMI). By contrast, less than half of organic sales in France take place in general retailers, with specialised retailers accounting for about 32% of total sales revenues, and direct marketing also contributing a significant amount (12.5%). The picture in Germany bears more resemblance to the French than the Danish scenario, with general retailers accounting for around 59% of organic sales and specialist stores contributing 27%.

 

Organic food sales surpass $100 billion, Source: FiBL and AMI

 

 

Biocoop, drives France’s commitment to change 

BIOCOOP Key figures

France’s Biocoop project promotes sustainable organic farming and fair trade. Founded by committed consumers, the Biocoop network strives to place ethics and cooperation at the centre of its activity and development. It consists of 3,600 farms, 425 employee shareholders, 3 consumer associations and 20 farmer cooperatives. The over 400 products sold in bulk at Biocoop stores are 100% organic, and 23% of them are certified fair trade. With the radical changes taking place within the organic market, Biocoop favours and incentivises suppliers who, according to the project’s strategy “can guarantee stable development with ecological transparency and coherency”. 

In 2018, Biocoop opened 70 new stores, taking its network to 600 outlets across the country and its turnover to €1.2 billion. Biocoop’s products are grown on over 3,600 farms that have signed up to the project along with 21 farmer cooperatives. Meanwhile, Biocoop has expanded the project to the foodservice channel, which is also fast expanding. Offering more than 900 specialist products to 5,200 customers in this sector, turnover in this segment was up 22% in 2018. 

The project is in constant and rapid expansion, with large-scale investments in the last year seeing the opening of new warehouses to serve the different regions of France. The 54 trucks of the Biocoop transport company (STB) collect from producers and supply partners and deliver to all the network’s stores. Biocoop has also invested in marketing, using TV and online campaigns to spread news of its good work.

 

 

REWE and Penny eliminate 7,000 tons of plastics

In Germany, the REWE retail group has been selling organic foods for over 20 years, highlighting that the retailer doesn’t see it as just a passing trend. The retailer’s fruit and vegetable section alone contains around 50 types of organically grown produce and is helping to drive the further development of and transition to organic agriculture. REWE’s guidelines state that the firm monitors how its products are produced, as well as immediately upon arrival at its stores, commissions accredited inspection bodies to conduct product analyses in accordance with its own exacting standards. 

“Packaging altered for over 1,000 references”

Now, the REWE Group has published guidelines for environmentally friendlier packaging and has already eliminated 7,000 tons of plastic per year from its REWE and Penny stores. This has so far involved altering how over 1,000 references are packaged and discontinued the use of plastic bags in all of its stores in 2016. Using a product-specific analysis, REWE identified packaging groups for relevant plastic savings and further optimisation to avoid, reduce and improve packaging materials with regard to environmental friendliness, with the criteria binding for all suppliers. In the case of fruit and vegetables, this has involved natural branding, such as laser logos, or the use of grass paper.

 

Organic heroes to appeal to children

Meanwhile, to promote consumption of organic fresh produce, Penny has introduced a new concept targeting children: the Naturgut organic heroes. The idea behind these heroes organic heroes is to educate people that appearance does not equal taste; so even when fruit and vegetables do not visually comply with the norm, they can have excellent taste, quality and durability. According to a company press release: “Because no synthetic and chemical fertilisers are used in the cultivation of organic heroes, it is only natural that they have little quirks every now and then. This is exactly what makes them our Naturgut organic heroes, which can be found on the shelves at PENNY stores.

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World orange crop slumps

World orange crop slumps, Source: USDA FAS

 

The world’s total orange production for the 2019/20 season is projected to drop 11% to 47.5 million tons due to unfavourable growing conditions in Brazil, Egypt, the European Union, and Morocco, according to USDA data.  As a result, consumption, fruit for processing, and fresh exports are also expected to plummet.

Brazil’s production is forecast to fall 22% to 15.1 million tons due to weather-related problems (warm temperatures and below-average rainfall after the first two blooms and fruit set). Oranges for processing are down 3.9 million tons to 10.4 million, while fresh orange consumption is lowered to 4.7 million tons, the lowest in 4 years. 

In contrast, China’s orange crop is estimated to climb slightly to 7.3 million due to favourable climatic conditions. Imports are up 3% as consumer demand is rising for premium, high-quality oranges.  Egypt and South Africa are the top suppliers to China, accounting for over 70% of imports.

US production is forecast to rise for the second consecutive year, albeit only by 1% to 4.9 million tons. Consumption, exports, and fruit for processing are all expected to be up in line with the larger crop.

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BIOFRUITNET project is launched

© FiBL

At a meeting in Hamburg on 16 and 17 December 2019, the BIOFRUITNET project was officially launched. Focusing on organic pome, stone and citrus fruits, this project aims to strengthen the competitiveness of European organic fruit production by:  

  • Collecting and synthesizing existing practical and scientific knowledge on organic fruit growing to distribute it widely among the EU countries through easy formats like e-learning, podcasts, videos and short articles.

  • Strengthening the established networks in organic fruit growing and establish links between them to create strong networks of organic fruit producers and stakeholders with a good flow of information.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 862850. It is coordinated by the international farmers association Naturland and carried out in collaboration with 15 partner organisations representing 12 countries in total. They will work together during 3 years to provide information to the farmers in a practical way to tackle the challenges of pests and diseases in fruit crops. FiBL is one of the project partners.

Source: FiBL