Poland’s first Carrefour BIO store was opened on November 15, 2019 in the centre of Warsaw. Poland thus becomes the fourth country, after France, Spain and Belgium, to see the concept of Carrefour BIO stores. The first Carrefour BIO offers 153 m² of commercial space and a 27 m² coffee corner with free wifi. A wide and varied offer of approximately 2,500 products awaits customers, 80% of which are organic products, with the remaining ones dedicated to vegans and people with gluten and lactose intolerance. The Carrefour BIO store assortment includes 250 types of fresh products, including vegetables and fruit sold by weight, meat, fish, as well as 2,200 packaged products, including wines and other alcohols. There are also 250 Carrefour BIO private label products available in the store.
The latest concept includes the possibility of buying 50 loose products by weight, among them are cereal, macaroni, legumes, coffee, as well as a wide selection of dried fruit and nuts. Tea and spice lovers can choose from 24 types of these products displayed in glass jars. The Carrefour BIO store also offers freshly baked bread, as well as cold meats, organic cheeses, cakes and delicatessen products sold in traditional counters. In addition to food products, the store also has a zone of make-up products, natural cosmetics and eco-detergents.
The Carrefour BIO also has a “Food to Go” zone that offers healthy snacks, soups as well as bio sandwiches prepared on site. In addition, freshly ground organic coffee and freshly squeezed organic fruit juices await customers. In the store it is possible to use your own packaging, e.g. when buying coffee or weight products. An additional option for customers looking for products directly from farmers are collection in the store of orders processed via the LokalnyRolnik.pl platform. The latest concept uses less waste solutions and ecological equipment, e.g. the floor is made of approximately 50% recycled material, and energy-saving refrigerators are powered by propane-butane.
The Indian state of Assam is to set up 100 organic markets dedicated to sales of organic produce. According to the Economic Times. The initiative is aimed at incentivising organic farming in the state and will involve suitable public land set aside in each district. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also discussed how to produce seeds to meet the farmers’ requirements from within the state itself. Sonowal asked the managing director of Assam Seeds Corporation Limited to produce €26 million worth of seeds.
Lidl Poland has begun labelling its organic vegetables using a non-invasive laser technique to avoid using packaging, paper, ink or glue, reports portalspozywczy.pl. The technique is already being used with the retailer’s organic butternut squash and celery, as of the beginning of December. The technique is entirely safe and does not affect the structure and nutritional value of the products in any way, leaving just a “tattoo” on the vegetable using a concentrated light beam. Information that these are organic products can be found directly on the skin.
The Schwarz Group, which includes Lidl and Kaufland, is one of the largest retailers on the international stage. The Group has developed a comprehensive REsetPlastic strategy aimed at reducing waste, recycling, eliminating plastics, and education.
The strong growth in Poland’s organic market is largely down to trade networks, according to Karol Gębka, the trade director of one of the country’s largest organic producers, Świętokrzyska Farm. Speaking to www.portalspozywczy.pl, Gębka said, “When we started our activity over 15 years ago, there was practically no organic market in Poland. The vegetables and fruits we produced were raw materials for export. Virtually 100 percent of what we produced at the beginning was for products processed in the west.” In recent years, the situation has changed dramatically, and the organic food market is the fastest-growing segment of Poland’s entire food sector. “This change is possible thanks to commercial networks. They invest in these products, promote them and build consumer awareness,” said Gębka.
Germany is the largest market for organic products in Europe and the second biggest in the world, after the US.
It is also Europe’s main organic producer but nevertheless is increasingly dependent on imported organic products, not just for products that aren’t grown in Germany but also for potatoes, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat and others, according to a new GAIN report.
There are good opportunities for US exporters of organic products but also challenges, it says. “Success in introducing food products depends mainly on knowledge of the market and personal contact.” It recommends that US suppliers analyse German/EU food law, packaging and labelling requirements, business practices and trade-related laws and tariffs, potential importers and the distribution system.
It also says that purchasing by German food retailers is fragmented and competitive. “Few German retailers import products directly from other countries, except for items that they purchase in large quantities. Most food retailers would rather buy from central buyers/distributors importing food and beverages.”
Read the GAIN report Germany: Organic Food Retail 2016