According to organic-market.info, The Czech Ministry of Agriculture plans to invest 30 million crowns (1.11 million) in promoting organic food. The government’s approved plan is to expand the share of organic food to at least three percent by 2020. About a third of organic products from Czech Republic are sold to consumers domestically; the rest is exported or sold as conventional.
Along with overviews of organizational activities, the IFOAM-Organics International annual report includes charts showing retail sales of organic products worldwide, and information about organic producers and farmland around the world.
Ukraine has about 300 organic food suppliers, and about one percent of the food sold is organic. Despite the higher cost of organic products there, organic products are increasing in popularity, reports Kyiv Post. Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture has made organic farming one of the ministry’s priorities.
Denmark’s Food and Agriculture Ministry has launched an organic food business group to assist the government in boosting the organic sector. Consisting of representatives from companies such as Arla, Thise, Coop, Hørkram, Netto, Meyer’s Canteens and the Food & Agriculture organization, the groups recommendations are expected in Spring 2017.
A market report from TechSci Research predicts the market for organic food in Germany will reach €15 billion by 2021, due to rising income and increasing awareness about organic farming and the benefits of organic food. About 52 percent of Germany’s organic food revenues were in the meat/poultry/dairy and the fruits/vegetables categories in 2015.
The Taipei Times reported that Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture plans to promote organic farming to a greater extent. About 0.7 percent of Taiwan’s farmland is organic. Organic farms can receive subsidies for raw materials and farming equipment as well as financial support to buy farmland and organic fertilizers.
Up 15 percent from 2014, organic food sales in France reached $6.4 billion (5.8 billion euros) in 2015. Forty-five percent of organic food sales were via supermarkets, but sales in specialty stores and directly form producers were up. Although purchases in the food service sector were up 18 percent, it is till only a small share of total sales.
Version 4.0 of the Global Organic Textile Standards (GPTS) is being updated. Participants in the process are submitting comments on the first revision draft through July 2016. The revised standards are expected to be complete in March 2017.
Talks between the European Commission, the Agriculture Committee, and Parliament concerning revisions to EU’s organic regulations continue, with six more rounds of discussion scheduled. The discussions are not likely to resolve all the remaining issues before the target date at the end of June. Although organic-market.info reports that there is agreement on the scope of the legislation, regulations for imports and partial farm conversions, there is still disagreement concerning threshold values for pesticide contamination of organic farm products, and disagreement on which aspect of changes should addressed as part of implementation.
After setting a goal of serving 90 percent organic food in daycare institutions, schools and elder-care centers in 2007, Copenhagen is now using 94 percent organic food in those public institutions. Furthermore, the transition was done without a budget increase, thanks to cooking from scratch, buying in season, reducing food waste and using less meat.
Aeon Co., Ltd., in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, and Marne & Finance Europe, headquartered in Brussels, have formed a joint venture called Bio c’Bon Japon to expand the organic supermarket business in Japan.
China Daily reports that adjustments to the new tariff policy for cross-boarder e-commerce may be unveiled “in near term.” The new taxes on certain cross-board e-commerce sales have already been adjusted since the policy was announced.
The list of substances acceptable in organic farming now has 39 new entries. The new products are authorized for use for different purposes such as basic substances (like vinegar) to be used as plant production products, selenised yeast as a feed additive, wood fibre as a processing aid and gellan gum as a food additive. In parallel, the Regulation allows for further clarification and simplification of the current legislation in organic aquaculture (use of juveniles), on seaweed production (spirulina’s production rules) and in organic wine (use of certain oenological practices).
Farming UK reports that one of the UK’s largest organic certification organizations, Organic Farmers and Growers, expressed concern that a UK referendum vote to leave the European Union (slated for June 23) could hamper UK organic farmers access to EU markets.