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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.

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Workshop at BIOFACH2020: “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships”

Workshop at BIOFACH2020: “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships”

FIBL & EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION are happy to invite you at BIOFACH2020 workshop: “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships”.

Date: 13.02.2020

Time: 11:00 – 11:45

Location: Room Prag, NCC Ost Mitte of Nuremberg

More info at: www.biofach.de/en/events/vortrag/boosting-the-organic-sector-by-integrating-breeding-into-value-chain-partnerships/742119

 

It is organized by FiBL Europe within the launch in 2020 of the initiative “ENGAGEMENT.BIOBREEDING – Engagement of the organic value-chain to support Organic Breeding in Europe”.

 

This workshop will give the occasion to discuss potential models that allow a secure and stable funding for organic animal and plant breeding in Europe. Panel speakers are Pierre Escodo (editor of EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION magazine), Bavo van den Idsert advisor at OPTA (Organic Processing and Trade Association Europe), Mathilde Tournebize program officer at the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Fabio Brescacin president of EconaturaSi, Mariateresa Lazzaro FIBL Plant Breeding program coordinator.

 

With this initiative, FIBL aims at integrating organic breeding into value-chain partnerships and sharing responsibility among breeders, farmers, processers, retailers, traders and consumers for upscaling organic breeding and ensuring future food security and quality.

FiBL Europe will offer a platform for promoting value-chain partnerships supporting organic animal and plant breeding in Europe for ensuring the integrity of organic products and strengthening consumer confidence.

 

Please register to our workshop at https://forms.gle/HjXSnstW2gVoA2JU7

For any further information you can also send an e-mail to mariateresa.lazzaro@fibl.org

 
Source: Press release
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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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Bionest, now offers year-round blueberries

Bionest, now offers year-round blueberries, © Bionest
© Bionest

 

Bionest has taken a leap in its production and will now offer its customers blueberries throughout the entire year. “This campaign, we will strengthen our ties with suppliers and customers by importing blueberry from South America to supplement our production and offer a year-round supply,” said Thomas Cera, marketing manager. Moreover, for the first time, Bionest will offer blackberry for ten months of the year. This allows the firm to offer mixed packaging formats made up of mini-kiwi, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and goji berry. These tubs containing two or three different products add value and can also be marketed in more sustainable packaging. “We have cardboard packaging made from cellulose and kraft, and heat-sealed made from cardboard or cellulose, which requires a minimum amount of plastic use and is also compostable,” said Cera. Meanwhile, Bionest is presenting its new strawberry and raspberry varieties to several selected clients. These products should be launched by the end of 2020.

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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
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EU and US vie for leadership in organics

The world’s largest organic markets, the US and the EU have exhibited dynamic growth over the past couple of years. While the US overtook the EU as the leading global organic food market in 2012, the EU has been showing stronger growth of late. Indeed, over the past 10 years, the organic food market in the EU has nearly doubled. According to the Organic Trade Association, the US recorded sales of US $47.9 billion in 2018, while the EU market was worth an estimated US $45.4 billion, up 18% from the previous year, according to USDA FAS data.

 

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Third Global Organic Produce Expo sees record attendance and focus on sustainability

Third Global Organic Produce Expo sees record attendance and focus on sustainability

The Global Organic Produce Expo brought in more buyers and exhibitors than previous years and garnered many positive reviews. Organised by The Packer, the third annual event took place 9-11 January and focused on fresh organic produce. Sessions covered everything from sustainable packaging to food safety, logistics, governmental policy, marketing, and more.

An expo floor featured 86 exhibitors, up from 73 exhibitors in 2019. Of the 714 attendees, 111 were retail buyers, 37 were foodservice buyers and 76 wholesale buyers. That is up from last year, when the event drew 604 people, including 97 retail buyers, 21 foodservice buyers and 72 wholesaler buyers. GOPEX 2020 attendees included buyers and suppliers from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The show kicked off with a morning tour of PortMiami, followed by a TopGolf networking event. Jennifer Tucker, US Department of Agriculture deputy administrator of the National Organic Program, spoke on January 10 about changes coming this year to tighten up enforcement and extra steps to importing organic products.

A look at organic price premiums by Rabobank analyst David Magana provided a perspective on promising fruits and vegetables in the category. That speech was followed by a panel discussing retail organic trends and then a session on organic agriculture and climate change.

On January 11, Ashley Tyrner of Farmbox RX described efforts to revolutionise the health care market by providing fruits and vegetables as a way of preventive care. Keynote speaker Antoni Porowski, the food and wine connoisseur for Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” provided an entertaining hour of musings about food trends and organic produce in a morning session before the expo.

 

Source: The Packer