From 2012 to 2016, land in organic production grew 18.7 percent in the European Union. Bulgaria’s organic land area increased 310 percent, and Croatia had an 193 percent increase. In Romania, however, land devoted to organic agriculture decreased over 20 percent.
In the last four years, shelf space dedicated to organic products is up 60 percent. Strict limits on pesticide residues on produce have helped drive the change.
India’s online grocery sector has seen investment from some of the world’s largest players recently. Alibaba invested in BigBasket; WalMart is considering a stake in Flipkart; and Amazon has invested in its India unit. The grocery retailing market in India is estimated at US$600 billion.
The government of India has dedicated approximately US$23.5 million to support organic agriculture in the northwestern state of Uttarakhand over the next three years. The vision is to make this another organic state, as is Sikkim.
The government of Canada will provide $250,000 of the approximately $550,000 cost of the next five-year review of Canada’s organic standards in 2020. According to the Canada Organic Trade Association, the organic industry is exploring various options with government to obtain the funds to pay the remaining amount. If the review is not conducted, the standards would have to be withdrawn, putting international trade at risk.
Organic foods and agriculture are becoming more popular, especially in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. With a 2014 change in procurement for school meals that emphasizes quality over price, organic foods now comprise 40 percent of primary school meals. In addition the number of organic specialty supermarkets is up nine percent, and conventional supermarkets have expanded their organic offerings. Public awareness of animal welfare issues has boosted the market for organic sausage and meats, with sales up 17 percent.
A legal opinion from the advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union said that certain gene editing techniques might not fall under the European Union’s primary law about Genetically Modified Organisms. Those techniques include gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR. The current law, EU Directive 2001/18/EC, covers techniques that involve introducing foreign DNA into an organism, but not traditional plant breeding or use of irradiation for mutagenesis. The new legal opinion would not prevent individual EU member states from making their own rules for gene editing.
The comment period for the European Union’s changes to the rules for indicating the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredient of a food where different to that given for that food is open until March 12, 2018.
Carrefour, in conjunction with the Regional Government of Andalusia, launched a campaign in Spain to promote organic products. Andalusia is a leader in organic production, but just one percent of consumption there is organic.
Organic food sales reached €1.4 billion in 2016, up 10 percent. The sales increases came primarily in supermarkets, even as specialty shops kept their sales steady.
Coop Denmark, the Danish retailer, will work with the Danish Organic Association and Denmark’s Nature Conservation Association to fundraise for the new Danish Organic Agriculture Fund. The money will be used to increase organic farming area in Denmark through the purchase of farms.
India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) introduced a new organic logo for both the National Programme for Organic Production and the Participatory Guarantee System for India, a move designed to reduce confusion and increase consumer confidence. In addition, a new database (www.jaivikbharat.fssai.gov.in) will allow consumers to check products’ organic certification.
Organic farmland increased most in Europe in 2016, with Bulgaria (up 35 percent), Croatia (up 23 percent) and Cyprus (up 18 percent) leading the way. Greece, Poland and Romania saw decreases, however.
Meanwhile, France saw organic industry growth of 21.7 percent in 2016, with fruits and vegetables and dry foods among the fast-growing categories. Germany’s organic market grew 9.9 percent in 2016. Half the money spent there on organic products was spent in conventional food retailers. In Austria, organic products represented 8.6 percent of the market by July 2017, with eggs, milk, potatoes and vegetables among the top organic products. Sweden’s organic market doubled in size from 2014 to 2016, and is estimated at €2.6 billion, with organic product share estimated at 9.3 percent.
Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service has developed a new seal, which will be mandatory for all Chilean organic processed products. Meanwhile, the country has signed an equivalence agreement with the European Union.
In an interview with Mark Tanner, founder of China Skinny, a marketing, research, and strategy company, the American Chamber of Commerce podcast considers challenges of marketing products in China. For example, 40 percent of food and beverage products use influencers in promotions in China, vs. 11 percent in the US. In addition, Tanner talks about some of the regional differences to consider.
Total value of the organic market in Australia is expected to reach AU$2 billion by 2018. In some categories, demand is outstripping supply in Australia and around the world, including grains, fruit and vegetables, livestock feed and red meat. More than two-thirds of Australian households reported purchasing at least one organic product in 2016, with fruit and vegetables, dairy and home-cooking ingredients the leading categories that year. Most shoppers in Australia buy organic products at the supermarket, and 44 percent of shoppers look for a certification logo.
Some markets in Asia are showing double-digit organic market growth rates, with regional sales expected to reach US$10 billion in coming years. China and India are two of the fastest growing markets, with concerns about food safety driving consumer interest.
Nov. 14, 2017
Land in organic agriculture increased to 1.25 million hectares in 2016, up nearly 15 percent from the year before. Approximately a third of arable is devoted to fodder crops. Organic production accounted for 8 percent of outdoor vegetable yields and 10 percent of greenhouse crops. In addition, organic farm revenues were up 9 percent, due in part increases in animal product, especially milk and eggs.
Changes to Chile’s organic regulations will now allow Small Ecological Farmers Organizations to verify organic production as part of participant guarantee systems. Now, in order to be recognized as organic, products must be certified either by a certification body or by a Small Ecological Farmers Organization registered with the competent authority.
Businesses exporting organic products to the European Union must now use the EU’s Trade Control & Expert System (TRACES) for electronic Certificates of Inspection. The Organic Trade Association recently shared some tips from the program administrators. Here are excerpts:
Updated Control Body / Certifier Codes
- Exporters can now initiate their own requests.
- If you are exporting product but the importer is not in the system you can create the importer. Create the Importer in the System, you would need to know the Importer EU Control Body. In some EU countries, the Importer has to be validated by EU authorities and not CBs (Germany, Italy). As much as possible the best solution is to ask the Importer to create himself/herself in the system.
- At what point can I print the Certificate of Inspection (COI)? (the electronic signature is not working) Once the Control Body has signed the certificate in TRACES (box 18), the certificate must be printed, stamped and signed; this constitutes the original COI and must be presented at the border of the EU with the consignment.
- Who initiates a request for a certificate of inspection? The person selling the goods to the EU? Or the person in the EU buying them? COI can be initiated by either the Exporter (organic exporter Nota Bene) or the Importer (org Importer), but it is issued by the CB. The certificate signed by the CB is then checked at the EU border by EU relevant authorities. Last but not least the First consignee in the EU has to sign also its part ( box 21).