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.
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
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.
Organic agriculture professionals in North Africa are urging the Moroccan government to include organic farming in climate resilience plans. In conjunction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP22) held in Morocco, Andre Leu, President of Organics International (IFOAM) highlighted the role organic agriculture can play in mitigating climate change.
Once every three years, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM – Organics International) organizes the Organic World Congress (OWC) in a different country to achieve its vision of a global organic movement and also to provide a platform where organic farmers and stakeholders can share their knowledge and expertise and establish valuable partnerships. In 2017, India, home to over 600,000 organic farmers, will host the 19th OWC.
Exhibitors may qualify for a special offer which includes a tabletop display space, airfare, and hotel stay for the BioFach trade show, February 15-18, 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany. Participants must promote certified organic product of 51% or more U.S. origin ingredients by value or volume. Space is limited, and priority is given to new-to-program OTA participants. See details at the registration page, and direct questions to Monique Marez.
Beginning October 19, 2017, only e-certification will be used for organic imports. The changes are designed to improve traceability of organic products, reduce fraud, reduce administrative burdens, and increase statistical data concerning organic imports.
As of October 2016, organic sales in Ireland were valued at €142 million, up 23.7 percent form October 2015. The organic sector received €10 million in government funding in Budget 2017. Approximately 2 percent of Ireland’s farmland is in organic cultivation. Popular product categories include vegetables, fruit and yogurt.
IFOAM- EU reports the European Parliament voted on October 6 to oppose the authorization proposal for cultivation and for import and use in food and feed of five GMOs. A clear majority of Members of Parliament rejected three varieties of GMO maize for cultivation in the EU, as well as one variety of maize and one variety of cotton for import and use in food and feed. The objection of the Parliament does not block the process, however, and Member States are expected to vote on these authorizations on November 16.
October 6, 2016
Denmark’s Irma supermarkets, a part of Coop Denmark, launched an advertising campaign to promote organic, especially their house brand of products. The chain seeks to increase the percent of organic sales from 30 percent to 50 percent. The chain has over 70 stores, most located in the metropolitan Copenhagen area.
Top retailer S Group increased organic sales 20 percent over last year. Product categories with the strongest growth include coffee cheese and fresh produce. Women aged 30-44 are the leading demographic of organic shoppers, followed by men in the same age range.
Although Ukraine is well-known as a provider of organic fodder for elsewhere in Europe, domestic consumption of organic products is on the upswing. The country has over 300 outlets sellign orgnaic products, many of them concentrated in Kiev. Two examples of specialty retailers include Naturboutique and biologic.ua.
Organic products are nine percent of the market (excluding food service and restaurants) in Sweden for the first half of 2016, based on sales value. Furthermore, sales of organic and KRAV-labelled foods in the first half of 2016 were up 23 percent compared to sales the first half of 2015. Although organic production in Sweden is up, demand for beef, eggs, certain dairy products, poultry and fruit and vegetables still exceeds local supply.
Europäisches Bioobst-Forum, an organization for organic fruit grower groups from across Europe, predicts that the 2016 crop of organic apples will be approximately 150,000 tonnes, and down slightly from the previous year. Frosts in Austria are to blame for the reduction. In addition, hail has had an impact on fruit quality in some areas.
IFOAM EU now offers a new platform for organic farmers, researchers and scientists to exchange information on key agriculture topics, including soil quality and fertility; weed management; nutrient management; pest and disease control; and crop- specific issues. The project is part of the OK-Net Arable project funded by Horizon 2020.