Retail wholefood specialty retailers had increased turnover of 1.3 percent in 2016, according to surveys by Klaus Braun. Within the wholefood specialty category, organic supermarkets recorded growth of 1.6 percent in 2016, compared to 9.8 percent in 2015. Braun anticipates growth is likely to stay relatively low due to competitive pressures.
In order to curb health problems that can stem from a diet of western-style junk foods, the Torba province of Vanuatu plans to impose restrictions on import of western foods in favor of locally grown organic and sustainable foods. Tourism bungalows have been ordered to serve only locally grown organic foods to guests, and the province seeks to become the first organic province in Vanuatu by 2020.
Scotland experienced 5 percent growth in the market in 2015, the third year in a row for growth there. Scots are about 11 percent of all organic shoppers in the UK, and organic meals are available in 48 percent of the schools.
Agence Bio estimates that growth in organic sales was up 20 percent in 2016, and was valued at €6.9 billion. Specialty food retailers, which are expanding beyond Paris, are one of the driving forces in the market. In addition, land in organic cultivation has risen to six percent of all agricultural land.
OrganicShop, one of the largest online organic retailers in India, offers more than 11,000 items. Over a million customers have shopped there, and boosted turnover 250 percent in the first half of 2014. Online trade in India is valued at more than US$23 billion, and is expected to grow in double digits through 2020. Meanwhile, India’s domestic market for organic products is garnering attention at trade shows like BioFach India/India Organic.
Jan 17, 2017
The Organic Trade Board in the United Kingdom and Organic Denmark will work together to promote organic food in both countries, thanks to a European Union grant valued at €10.4 million. Designed to boost retail sales, increase employment in organic agriculture and raise awareness of the benefits of organic food and drink, the three-year project will feature a shared creative concept tailored to suit each country’s market. The campaign is likely to target those aged 25-45 who are not purchasing a broad range of organic products regularly.
Organic vegetable sales were up 10 percent from January to November 2016, and shoppers bought 8 percent more. Overall, organic vegetables are 6.7 percent of the vegetable market. Demand is up for cucumbers, peppers and zucchini, in particular. Discount retailers have seen demand for organic vegetables rise 27 percent.
An opinion poll conducted on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture found that most people (62 percent) prefer to do most of their shopping at big supermarkets, but only six percent prefer doing most of their shopping at organic stores. Those who prefer to shop at organic stores are more likely to be either young people or over 60. The poll of about 1000 people over age 14 also found that more people are seeking food that is quick and easy to prepare compared to the previous year, and that people are increasingly concerned about animal welfare.
Health Canada’s 2016 survey found that consumers remain skeptical of genetically modified foods, as they were in the previous survey. Sixty-one percent of respondents have a negative impression of genetic modification, and 78 percent want GMO foods to be labeled. Meanwhile, 76 percent said that price is the most significant factor in buying food.
In a poll with its members, the Scottish Organic Producers Association found that 90 percent do not want changes in the regulations for organic foods, and 83 percent want access to the European market to remain open.
Organic acreage is up 18.4 percent from 2014, with about two million hectares in organic cultivation, setting a new record. Organic acreage represents 8.3 percent of the agricultural land in the country on average, with the Andalucia region leading the way with 23 percent of the acreage devoted to organic farming. Meanwhile, organic consumption is lower than much of Europe, at € 21.7 per capita in Spain compared to € 47.4 on average in Europe.
Over 12 months of talks between the European Commission, the Agriculture Committee, and Parliament concerning proposed revisions to the European Union’s organic production regulations have been suspended until further notice, reports organic-market.info. Sticking points include: who bears the responsibility for pesticide residues, cultivation under glass and seed. Meanwhile, organic farmers and organizations, including IFOAM-EU, called for a stop to EU regulations changes since the proposed changes do not reflect the needs of organic farmers.
Dec. 8, 2016
The Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) conference in Bangladesh drew 170 attendees. Of the 3800 GOTS-certified facilities worldwide, 400 are in Bangladesh. One key result of the seminar sessions is that sustainable production to established international standards is a key to long term business success.
Wessanen, one of the leading companies in the organic and natural food market in Europe with operations in France, Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Germany, acquired Biogran, a leader in the Spanish organic food market. Over the last few years, Biogran has recorded strong growth in both health food and grocery stores in Spain with, net revenue of €27 million in 2015.
In an effort to make organic agriculture more inclusive and foster a truly sustainable system of agriculture, IFOAM-Organics International has updated its concept paper outlining Organic 3.0. According to the updated document, “The overall goal of Organic 3.0 is to enable a widespread uptake of truly sustainable farming systems and markets based on organic principles and imbued with a culture of innovation, of progressive improvement towards best practice, of transparent integrity, of inclusive collaboration, of holistic systems, and of true value pricing.” Organic 3.0 will be one of the items on the agenda of the General Assembly of IFOAM – Organics International in November 2017 in India.
The news Mutual Recognition Agreement between New Zealand and China covers the import and export of organic foods and ingredients, except for apiculture, aquaculture, and textiles. The products must be certified according to New Zealand’s OOAP or Chinese organic standards, and at least 95 percent of the ingredients in organic processed products need to have been grown and processed in New Zealand or China. In addition, organic products sold in China must carry a unique 17-digit barcode.
Olive Oil Times reports that Tunisia is the second largest exporter of olive oil in Africa, and exports to 30 countries on five continents. Two-thirds of Tunisia’s 2987 organic farmers export their products.
Sales of organic foods in Croatia total about €99 million annually and is about two percent of the retail market, reports Total Croatia News. During 2010-2015, the number of organic farmers in Croatia increased and the land under organic management quadrupled from 16,000 to 76,000 hectares. Most organic foods sold in Croatia are purchased by people with average to slightly above average incomes.
In order to foster export of Ukrainian organic raw materials, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture is working to close gaps in organic legislation, support organic farms and enhance infrastructure. Changes in the EU Commission control measure in 2015 resulted in higher costs and delays, and highlighted areas where the Ukrainian infrastructure needed improvement. Ukraine is an important source of cereals and soy, especially for Europe.
In a landmark agreement completed November 14, China and New Zealand will mutually recognize each other’s organic product certifications. This is the first such agreement for China.