As part of a plan to support organic production, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture is providing about $431,000 to 165 farmers to help them convert to organic agriculture. Saudi Organic Farming Society is implementing the support program with field visits to prepare farms for certification.
Several factors are driving interest in health foods in China, including an aging population, increasing education, and an internet-savvy middle class. Furthermore, organic products are seen as a status symbol. Shoppers (73 percent) are willing to pay extra for healthier food. Meanwhile, as much as 60.5 percent of fresh food in China was sold online in 2017.
Per capita spending on organic food CHF360 in 2018, up from CHF330 in 2017. Overall, sales were up 13.3 percent in 2018 and hit $3 billion. Supermarket chains Migros and Coop brought in 3/4 of the sales. In some sectors, (eggs, fresh bread, vegetables, salad and potatoes) organic products had over 20 percent market share. Over half (56 percent) of shoppers buy organic food at least several times per week.
Sales of organic products at retailer Rema 1000 were up 20 percent in 2018, the 12 consecutive year of double-digit increases in organic salesStore leaders say that increased awareness of climate and environmental issues is one factor.
The Ministry of Agriculture intends to promote organic food in its marketing campaigns. The Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism (SOCR CR) and the PRO-BIO Association of Organic Farmers have signed a joint memorandum to strengthen cooperation. Sales of organic food there have increased tenfold in the last three years. In 2016, organic food sales were valued at nearly €99 million.
Research from the consumer organization Consumentenbond found that organic food prices at supermarket group Dirk were about 13 percent below average, and prices at organic specialty shops were 15 to 28 percent higher than average. In some instances, organic products cost less than non-organic. Five years ago, organic products were twice as much as non-organic food, but now organic is 63 percent more.
The National Food Crime Unit’s new leader intends to crack down on the most serious food crimes which put customers’ health at risk. Mislabeling cheaper products for more expensive goods is one category of food crime the unit investigates.
In a survey of 609 shoppers, researchers found consumers’ concerns regarding the environment, health, food safety and their knowledge of organic food all significantly impacted their purchase behavior of organic meat. Food stores’ green marketing practices significantly enhanced consumers’ actual purchase behavior, but premium prices of organic meat were a deterrent. POositive attitudes about organic meat did not necessarily lead to purchase.
The industry journal Lebensmittel Zeitung reported that Edeka, one of Germany’s largest retailers, plans to add separate stores under the “Naturkind” brand in addition to organic shops within the shop. Edeka also plans to expand its own “Edeka Bio” brand.
March 19, 2019
The European Commission’s investigations of irregularities in several lots of products from Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have resulted in the European Commission’s withdrawal of its accreditation of Control Union Turkey, Moldova, UAE, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
France’s ministry of agriculture and food has established a National Council for Collective Catering, which will ensure better food is served in canteens and cafeterias. One objective is to ensure that by 2022, 50% of food served in places like school cafeterias is organic, sustainable or of a specific quality.
Argentina exports more organic apples and pears to the European Union than any other country, with an annual volume of 30,000 metric tons which represents nearly 21% of the market.
With the impending October 1, 2019 sunset of Australia’s food import regulations, a new Imported Food Control Amendment Act is coming. Regulations will:
- require a food safety management certificate for food where at-border testing alone is insufficient to provide assurance of food safety
- require all importers to provide documents on request, demonstrating the traceability of imported food, one step forward and one step backward along the food supply chain
- establish differentiated enforcement provisions that are consistent with state and territory government food safety legislation, where applicable to imported food
- broaden Australia’s emergency powers to allow food to be held at the border for up to 28 days where there is uncertainty about the safety of a particular food
- capacity to monitor and manage new and emerging imported food risks through the application of a variable rate of inspection or inspection and analysis for a period of up to six months
- enable recognition of a foreign country’s food safety regulatory system where there is equivalence with Australia’s food safety system. Food imported from these countries will be subject to a reduced rate of inspection.
Organic wine consumption, about 3.6 percent of the world’s wine market, went from 349 million bottles in 2012 to 676 million bottles in 2017, nearly doubling in five years. By 2022 the expectation is that more than 1 billion bottles will be sold annually worldwide. Italy, France and Spain, combined, produce 79 percent of the world’s organic wine.
Sales of organic foods were up 27 percent in Wales in 2018, the highest increase in the United Kingdom. In addition, organic farmland in Wales went up 5.6 percent. Overall UK organic sales reached a new high of £2.3 billion in 2018. Discounters now sell 5 percent of the organic market in the UK, but the home delivery channel had the most growth (14 percent) in the past year. Sale in the food service sector were up 8 percent and sale were up 6.2 percent at independent retailers.
Prodexpo, an international exhibition of food, beverages and raw materials will for the first time feature a salon for organic foods at its 2019 show, February 11-15, in Moscow.
Organic food sales were up 20 percent in 2018, due in part to increased supply and trust in domestic organic products. Fast growing categories include baby products, frozen foods, fresh foods, and pet food. Increased availability has helped reduce prices, encouraging middle income shoppers to chose organic more often.
Small-scale farms in China are selling organic food online, including fresh produce, and face competition from the e-commerce giants. Taobao, China’s largest shopping website, includes 6460 traders selling organic farm products. Meanwhile, consumers there express skepticism about the veracity of organic claims. Small farms have successfully combined direct sales at markets with online sales as the customers gain confidence in their offerings. In addition, some internet giants are opening physical stores and developing organic farms of their own.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will be developing a strategy for the organic food sector through 2025. The retail market for organic products in Ireland is estimated at €162 million, with a further €44 million generated by direct sales. Organic food sales in Ireland grew by 10.5% in 2017.
Carrefour, Danone, Herta, d’Aucy and Les Paysans de Rougeline have launched a crowdfunding project designed to support farms as they transition to organic agriculture. They hope to raise €100 million in four years, and increase supply of organic food. Carrefour has targeted €5 billion in organic food sales in the next three years, compared to €1.8 in 2018.