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In US, growth in organics outstrips growth in other food categories 

In US, growth in organics outstrips growth in other food categories 

 

Sales of organic products in the US reached $52.5 billion in 2018, up 6.3% from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey by the OTA. Organic food sales increased 5.9% to $47.9 billion, outpacing total food sales growth at 2.3%.

Speaking to Foodbusinessnews, Angela Jagiello, director of education and insights at the OTA, said, “Shoppers consistently relate that they choose organic because they believe the product to be ‘better for me and my family’. In 2019, the Organic Trade Association led one of the largest-ever consumer research projects on behalf of organic. Shoppers told us that they value the fact that more than 700 chemicals are prohibited in organic, the strong standards and enforcement that underpin the USDA organic seal, and that they believe organic agricultural practices can play a role in mitigating climate change.”

Category trends

Fresh produce remains the largest organic category, representing more than 36% of all organic food sales, according to the OTA. In 2018, sales of organic fruits and vegetables increased 5.6% to $17.4 billion, while sales of all fruits and vegetables, including organic and conventional products, rose 1.7%. Organic fruits and vegetables comprise nearly 15% of all produce sold in the United States. Carrots, greens, apples and bananas remain popular picks in the organic section, while organic berries, mangos, papayas, avocados, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are gaining steam.

“Millennials are the fastest-growing demographic of consumers who want what’s best not only for themselves but their families, too,” said Emmanuel Laroche, global marketing leader and vice president of marketing and consumer insights for Symrise. “So, when it comes to foods and beverages, organics are on the top of their grocery lists.”

Where is the organic market headed next? 

“Packaging may be a future frontier,” said Jagiello. “There’s a robust organic industry conversation about sustainable packaging. Industry members are working individually and collectively to press suppliers for more responsible, less plastic, alternatives. This will require education for shoppers, and for retailers, but will ultimately be positive for all. Organic will be the tip of the spear on this issue and will catalyse positive change throughout the food industry.”

 

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Nature Green, organic shiitake producer from Ukraine

Nature Green, organic shiitake producer from Ukraine
© Nature Green

 

Nature Green has recently established in Ukraine, in order to grow organic Shiitake mushrooms. “From the beginning, we have been focused on the production of premium quality organic mushrooms,” said Peter Sutherland, Sales Manager.

“We make our own first-class substrate in house to keep a consistent high-quality harvest, to do this we use the best organic raw materials, advanced techniques and cutting-edge equipment in our facility.” The production is certified with Organic Standards & Global Gap, ISO 22000:2005 and 9001:2015.

Currently they supply shiitake to the local market and export to Europe. The farm is located in a great location the city of Uzhhorod, situated on the western border of Ukraine to the Hungarian, Slovakian & Polish borders. This allows them to efficiently deliver freshness in their mushrooms, they can have delivery’s in any European country within 2 to 4 days.

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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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Trentino turns green

apple italia

Significant efforts are being made to make Trentino’s apple production greener and more virtuous. The 2020 Sustainability Report presented at the conference “Sustainable relations between environment and market” on Friday 21st February at the Cocea auditorium in Predaia (Trento) presented the results of the activities carried out within the Trentino Sustainable Fruit Growing Project. These initiatives include mapping the Trentino area in terms of its biodiversity, certifications, energy use, and distribution of organic crops. 

Apot comprises 6,549 Trentino companies employing 1,600 workers on 10,120 hectares, with a total turnover of €360 million. At the conference, the organisation presented the results of its analysis of the residues of the collected samples from its members indicates 98.8% compliance pre-harvest and 99.83% post-harvest. Last season, €34,000 in fines were imposed on those that did not comply. Organic apple production has more than trebled in the past six years and now totals 1,000 hectares. Area cultivated with resistant varieties is also increasing, with this year’s target being 180 hectares, compared to 10 hectares in 2014.

Chemical use in Trentino agriculture has dropped from 50 kilos of active ingredients per hectare (acaricides, plant growth regulators, fungicides, insecticides) in 2012 to less than 40 kg in 2018. Beekeeping is also spreading, with the number of beekeepers rising from 1,500 in 2008 to more than 2,000 in 2019, and the number of hives increasing from 22,000 to 34,000 over the period. All of the companies are GRASP-certified. 

It is clear that Trentino’s agricultural sector is well aware now of the importance of sustainability, which suggests that the rapid progress recorded in the past decade looks set to continue.

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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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BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2020: Combined trade fair hits new high of 3,792 exhibitors

BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2020: Combined trade fair hits new high of 3,792 exhibitors

The combined trade fair of BIOFACH, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, and VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural and Organic Personal Care, has been more international and diverse than ever before when it opened its doors at Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 12 – 15 February. Both shows were setting new records for exhibitor numbers, display area and international focus. A total of 3,792 exhibitors – 292 of them at VIVANESS – from 110 countries has showcased their products to the trade public on a display area measuring 57,609 m2. BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2020 were offering even more diversity than ever, in two additional halls. The approaches that the organic system already offers for resolving urgent issues affecting the future has been discussed by the organic sector as part of the congress theme “Organic delivers!”, while water has been the focus of the special show “All about water – is the basis of life endangered?”. The key trends at BIOFACH this year were “Packaging”, “Vegan 2.0”, “Open Pollinated Varieties” and “Region 2.0”, while VIVANESS has been highlighting “Zero Waste bathroom”, “All about hemp”, “Dental Care” and “Packaging”.

Petra Wolf, Member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse, said: “With BIOFACH and VIVANESS you get two trade fairs, one date, one venue, four days and a comprehensive overview of the worldwide organic food and natural and organic cosmetic sectors along the entire supply chain. In 2020, the combined trade fair will be more diverse than ever and will emphatically reinforce its role as the international gathering for the sector. With its excellent supporting programme and “Organic delivers!” as the congress theme, this is the starting point from where the future is being shaped by the sector.”

 

Source: Press release
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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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BIOFACH2020: focus on vegan labels

The Vegan Society promotes the certified animal free products with the Vegan Trademark
Credit: Pierre Escodo

 

The Vegan Society promotes the certified animal free products from all level in the chain, with for example the non-animal and organic fertiliser. Indeed, animal compost and animal proteins have a much higher carbon footprint than vegetal compost and plant-based proteins… Therefore, ‘Vegan experience hub’ was created at Biofach fair to learn more about this kind of products.

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POLOmarket, unmatched in fast deliveries 

POLOmarket, unmatched in fast deliveries 

Fresh organic produce is on the rise for the number-one Polish retailer

The Polish retail market is in constant transformation to adjust to the shifting requirements of customers. Poland’s shoppers demand fresh and good quality produce on store shelves 24 hours a day, making well-organised logistics and fast transport crucial. POLOmarket is the largest retail network solely reliant on Polish financing. Established in the Kujawy region, POLOmarket has grown to comprise approximately 400 retail locations in small and medium-size towns as well as in larger conurbations throughout the country. It serves around 9 million shoppers every month. “We are the fastest in delivering fresh produce in Poland. Our chain sells goods worth €823 million per year,” said Dawid Mizera, category manager. “However, the crucial asset of our chain is our well-organised logistics, particularly for transporting fresh fruits and vegetables.” 

Fresh organic produce is a growing trend 

“For now, sales of organic products are rising slowly, but the trend is stable and its share of fresh produce has increased in the last two years,” said Mizera. The buzzword most frequently used in POLOmarket’s marketing is ‘Polish shop’ to highlight how the stores’ fresh produce comes from local Polish farmers. POLOmarket has also invested in environmental protection by withdrawing foil bags and replacing them with paper bags. As Mizera underlines, Polish customers are now more open to purchasing fresh organic bananas, tomatoes, cabbages or cucumbers in every POLOmarket store. “Now we intend to add our own brand of organic fruits, vegetables, juices and nectars ‘Zaczarowany Ogród’ (Enchanted Garden), with which we will offer more organic fresh produce in addition to our conventional products,” said Mizera.  

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Japanese supermarket giant Aeon, in online grocery push

AEON organic retail store

AEON organic retail store

Credit: Aeon

 

 

Aeon is partnering with British online grocery pioneer Ocado to launch a new company by March 2020 that will use AI and robotics to deliver a cutting-edge digital experience. Also, as a sustainability initiative, Aeon has set up a platform to help boost organic farming in Japan, where demand is outstripping supply of organic food.

 

Fresh food delivery has yet to truly take off among the Japanese, who largely still pick up fresh produce on a daily basis. But with better logistic networks and different demographics – such as more dual-income households and senior citizens – that’s forecast to change. And with AmazonFresh already in Tokyo, and Walmart (owner of Aeon rival Seiyu) beefing up its online grocery delivery together with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, it’s no surprise that supermarket Aeon is also making the leap. In a statement in November, Aeon said it will leverage Ocado’s world leading know-how to launch and operate “the next generation online supermarket.” It plans to open its first customer fulfilment centre harnessing the Ocado Smart Platform by 2023 to serve Japan’s Kanto region, followed by others over the following two years in order to eventually serve the whole country. And it anticipates achieving online grocery sales of about 600 billion yen (about €4.92b) by 2030. “Aeon will realise a highly efficient operations and distribution system to deliver ‘anytime, anywhere, anything’ through a superb application interface to meet our customer needs. It is expected that these technologies can be utilised for the existing Aeon online supermarket business, store pick up, click & collect,” the company said in a press release. Aeon also plans to seek more partners both in Japan and around the world in order to be at the forefront of the digital era. Ocado, it should be mentioned, has also been chosen as a partner by other major supermarket groups around the world, including Kroger in the US, Casino in France, Marks & Spencer in the UK, ICA in Sweden and Coles in Australia.

Produce from farms run by Aeon Agri Create // Credit: Aeon

 

A platform to boost organic production 

Two other key initiatives from Aeon are in the area of organic food. Back in 2017, among the sustainable procurement goals the group set itself was that of boosting the sales ratio of organic products to 5% of all its agricultural products by 2020, also when Tokyo will host the summer Olympics. Aeon says it wants to contribute to “human, social and environmental health” through organic products, furthermore ones that are “cultivated, distributed and consumed naturally.” It also says it is “responding to our customer demands for safer, better tasting, and environmentally friendly food products.” However, while interest in organic produce is on the rise in Japan, “supply of organic products has not caught up with growing consumer demand,” it says, and “organic JAS certified producers in Japan account for only 0.2% of all farmers.” Given this context, in September 2019 the retailer announced another initiative, the new Aeon Organic Alliance (AOA). In a statement, it said this platform will boost the supply of organic products and help farmers overcome the burden of high organic cultivation costs and those incurred due to inefficient distribution, as well as giving them opportunities to gain new skills, exchange information and share and solve issues together. The AOA platform will be used to “centrally manage production, procurement, processing, distribution, and sale of organic agriculture products.”

Organic produce in Bio c’ Bon store in Japan // Credit: Aeon

 

14 new organic stores in Japan

AOA members will also have access to technological know-how for the acquisition of Global G.A.P. and organic JAS certification. Aeon has acquired such expertise via the 20 farms it directly manages across Japan. The farms are operated by the company Aeon Agri Create and three hold organic JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard) certification, one of which is the fully organic 16 ha Saitama Hidaka Farm. Aeon’s organic farms will serve as distribution bases that collect products from growers who are members of its organic alliance, thus reducing distribution and delivery costs while also facilitating joint purchasing of materials necessary for cultivation, which in turn lowers costs. Furthermore, an AOA website will share what is happening in stores, including customer feedback, product line-ups, and sales performance, as well as overseas trends and other relevant information. It will also serve as a communication platform for connecting producers. Another group subsidiary, Aeon Topvalu, develops Aeon’s private brand for organics, Topvalu Gurinai, which is sold in group stores across Japan. Also providing a sales outlet for organic produce in Japan are the Bio c’Bon stores operated by Aeon in partnership with French firm Bio c’ Bon. There are now 14 such stores in Japan.