Canada Organic Trade Association’s annual organic agriculture by the numbers report “Organic Agriculture in the Prairies” found that organic farmland expanded from 1.4 to 1.6 million acres from 2015 to 2016, and in 2016, there were 1632 certified organic operations in the Prairies. The 16-page report is available for free.
The French National Assembly passed an Agriculture and Food Bill that will require half the food served in public canteens to be either organic, local or produced to meet certain environmental standards by 2022. Organic produce must be at least 20 percent of the food. The Senate will also need to pass the bill.
Four food trends identified by the New Zealand-based Fonterra dairy company include: A shift toward natural; increased interest in premium products; customization and snacking before and after dinner. In addition, wealthy educated young shoppers are seeking out information online, especially via mobile devices, to find safe high-quality nutritious food.
IFOAM – Organics International, Naturland and FiBL are working to build up organic competence in selected Green Innovation Centers in 14 countries, including Cameroon, Malawi and Mali. Local market development is part of the plan, along with training for farmers.
Statistics compiled by the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that the number of organic operations in the UK is up 3.5 percent since 2016, and organically farmed land is up 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent of the total farmed area on agricultural holdings. Pasture is the most common organic land use.
Market research from Mintel forecasts 6.6 percent compound annual growth rate in dairy sales until 2022. Despite lower per capita rates of consumption than in Japan or the United States, yogurt and cheese are expected to have consistent sales increases. In addition, urban Chinese consumers prefer imported dairy products.
Shoppers in London can try organic food, see cooking demos, enjoy music and entertainment, and more at the Go Organic Festival, September 8-9, 2018 in Battersea Park. Organized by Diversified Communications UK, the family-friendly event is expected to attract as many as 15,000 people.
Sales of organic food and beverages increased 31 percent form 2016 to 2017, and the market share is now 13.3 percent according to Statistic Denmark. Over half of Danes by organic food every week, and organic products are readily available in grocery stores.
The Food Safety Standards Authority of India has proposed labeling packaged foods that are made with five percent or more genetically modified ingredients. Final regulations are expected in about two months.
Official statistics from the agricultural ministry showed 132 organic producers in the country. Smallholders and beekeepers will for the first time receive subsidies for organic production. May 5, 2018
One in ten fresh food items sold in Switzerland last year was organic, according to the Federal Office for Agriculture. The market share of organic products rose from 4.6% in 2007 to 9% in 2017, while the share of fresh organic food sold in Switzerland rose from just under 6% to 11.5% over the same period.
Household spending on organic food is up to 16.9 percent, and more than 6 in 10 Australian households say they buy organic in any given year, according to the annual market report from Australian Organic.
Currently worth AUS$2.4 billion, the organic market is booming. Retail sales are estimated at AUS$1.6 billion – up 88 per cent since 2012 – accounting for 70 per cent of Australia’s organic market.
The report found that for many Australians, environmental and food safety factors, along with freshness, taste and quality are the most important drivers for making organic purchases.
Consumers see organic products as having the following top benefits: ‘Chemical-free’ (82%) and ‘Additive-free’ (71%), and ‘Environmentally friendly’ (70%). Cost continues to be the biggest barrier for 67 percent of consumers, but that’s down from 76 percent in 2016.
On April 19, 2018, the European Parliament approved new European Union regulations for organic production and labeling; once the Council of European Union ministers formally approved the changes, the new rules will apply beginning January 2021. Key provisions: Imports will have to comply with EU standards, as current equivalence agreements will be phased out within the next five years. Derogations allowing the use of non-organic seeds and livestock in organic production are set to expire in 2035. Risk-based inspections will be used throughout the organic supply chain. ‘Mixed’ farms with organic and non-organic production will be allowed.
Japan intends to apply the organic Japan Agricultural Standard (JAS) to foods that contain ingredients of animal origin on April 1, 2019. Japan is accepting comments regarding the enforcement date until May 15, 2018. Because the current U.S.-Japan Organic Equivalency Arrangement does not include products that contain ingredients of animal origin, all U.S. animal products will need to be deemed equivalent or be certified to the JAS organic standard once Japan’s revision enters into force.
Although milk is the principal product of the region, organic fruit, vegetable and meat production is increasing. Over 20 percent of the farms in the region are organic.
Denmark plans to increase the number of organic farms, in part by spending 1.1 billion kroner through 2019 to help farmers convert to organic methods.
The portion of agricultural land devoted to organic farming varies by country. In 2016, here’s how some countries stacked up:
Austria 21.3 percent
Sweden 18.3 percent
Estonia 18 percent
Czech Republic 14 percent
Italy 14 percent
Germany 6.8 percent
Belgium 5.8 percent
France 5.3 percent
Luxembourg 3 percent
Ecovia Intelligence reports that Booths supermarkets in northern England have expanded their offerings of natural and organic personal care products. Chain stores such as Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are as well.
As part of an effort to increase domestic and international sales of foods from Quebec, the provincial government unveiled a policy that would seek to double the area of farmland devoted to organic agriculture. The 108-page policy also encouraged agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and food processing sectors to improve and modernize.
The Singapore Standards Council and Enterprise Singapore have issued The Singapore Standard (SS) 632:2017 for Organic Primary Produce. The standards is touted as the world’s first in addressing urban and indoor growing, and also covers production, post-harvest practices, import, packing, re-packing, storage, transport and labelling.