Foreign demand remains the main driver for organic production in Romania, though 2015 production was down. Meanwhile, domestic consumption is on an upward trend. The organic consumer market was estimated in 2016 at U.S. $45 million, an increase of more than 30 percent compared to two years ago. Retail stores contributed to this expansion, as they have dedicated shelves to organic products, making these products more visible and attractive to consumers.
Worldwide: IFOAM envisions next phase of organic agriculture
In a paper developed over several years and with input from stakeholders around the world, IFOAM - Organics International outlines a vision and strategy for the next phase of the organic sector. Organic 3.0 aims at better contributing to solve challenges in the food chain such as healthy and affordable food for everyone, minimized environmental and food pollution, fairness for producers, high animal welfare, and efficiency in resource utilization.
The 2017 edition of the study “The World of Organic Agriculture” (data per end of 2015) published by Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM – Organics International estimates the world’s organic market at US$81.6 billion, up from US$59.1 billion in 2010. Land used for organic agriculture is also up worldwide, with 50.9 million hectares, or 1.1 percent, of the world’s agricultural land devoted to organic production. The United States is the leading market, with 47 percent of the world’s organic retail sales, followed by Germany (11 percent), France (7 percent) and China (6 percent). Meanwhile, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden are leaders in per capita consumption of organic products, based on retail sales.
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.
About 80 percent of the fair trade products sold in Germany are also organic, and sales of fair trade products grew 11 percent to €1.14 billion in 2016. Key products in the fair trade sector are: bananas, coffee, cocoa and flowers, with cotton, honey , fruit juices, tea, wine and cosmetics as smaller categories in the sector.
Jan 24, 2017
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
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.
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.
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.