McKinsey and Company’s China consumer report 2020: The many faces of he Chinese consumer identified five key trends in the economy, and a desire for a healthier lifestyle is among them. Other trends include: Young consumers in smaller cites are a growth engine; Chinese consumers are sophisticated travelers; Consumers are increasingly discerning and frugal; and high-end Chinese brands are more desirable.
In an April 2019 decision, the government of Australia has effectively allowed the use of the CRISPR gene editing technique for plants, animals and human cell lines as long as foreign genetic material is not used in the process. The decision was implemented October 2019, and is seen by many as bypassing the existing prohibitions against genetic engineering.
The European Union has changed some of the lists of inputs allowed in organic agriculture and processing in Regulation (EU) 2019/2164, which amends Regulation (CE) 889/2008. The following substances have been added:
- Annex I fertilizers: biochar, mollusk waste and eggshells, humic and fulvic acids
- Annex II pest and disease control: maltodextrin, hydrogen peroxide, terpenes (eugenol, geraniol and thymol), sodium chloride, cerevisane and pyrethrins in addition to those from chrysantemums
- Annex IV feed, all with additional annotations: guar gum, sweet chestnut extract, betaine anhydrous
- Annex VIII food additives and processing aids: tara gum powder as a thickener, and for sugar production hop and pine rosin extracts.
- In addition, uses of several substances have been changed and some substances will have to be produced organically after 2022, including tara gum powder, lecithins, glycerol, locust bean gum, gellan gum, arabic gum, guar gum and carnauba wax.
According to the “Saudi Arabia Natural & Organic Food Market (2019-2025): Market Forecast by Types, by Distribution Channels, by Origin, by Regions, and Competitive Landscape" report, the market for organic and natural foods in Saudi Arabia is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.9% from 2019-2025. More than 80% of the organic food in the country is imported, and the Saudi Arabia government has developed a $200 million action plan to support organic farming.
China was slated to begin new organic national standards for organic products and new regulations for certification and use a revised eligible products list on January 1, 2020. Products marketed in China as organic must comply with this standard and accompanying regulations.
The new organic standard includes changes to production and processing inputs, such as adding microbial preparations for control and prevention of animal diseases, adding detergents and disinfectants in plant production, adding requirements for packaging materials for feed products, adjusting lists of food additives, processing aids, and feed additives eligible for organic production and/or processing. The standard also changed the requirements for the labeling of organic conversion products.
The new organic certification rules appear to have streamlined some certification practices. For example, an overseas organic production site which has been certified organic certification for at least four years can be waived from a 12-month organic conversion period before being certified to the Chinese organic standard. And if an organic product is produced or processed overseas, the product sample can be tested by a local testing agency. Site inspection requirements have also been simplified.
Double-digit growth rates for organic food are thanks to retail chains, says the trade director for Farma Świętokrzyska.
The nation’s food market is expected to reach $1.14 trillion within the next five years, says Avalon Consulting, with organic organic food market expected to exceed $2 billion by 2024. Domestic consumption of organic food had a compound growth rate of 13 percent from 2011 to 2018.
New requirements for exporting organic products from New Zealand were initiated December 2, 2019. The two new consolidated documents, Organic Export Requirement: Operator Production Rules (OER: OPR); and Organic Export Requirement Recognised Agencies and Persons (OER: RAP) replace the previous Official Organic Assurance Program standards documents. These requirements apply only to the export of organic products to markets where New Zealand has negotiated an organic trading arrangement (European Union, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States of America, and China (pending implementation). Operations have 21 months to transition to the new requirements.
From 2008 to 2018, the number of organic product producers increased from 211 to 6660 in Bulgaria. Organically cultivated land increased sixfold in the past seven years. Large retail stores are starting to carry organic products.
The European Union, as part of €200.9 million in promotion activities for EU agri-food products, will devote €47 million for promoting EU quality schemes and features of organic products, including organic, within the EU. Part of the focus of the campaigns will to highlight the high safety and quality standards, as well as the diversity and traditional aspects of EU agri-food products.
India’s state of Uttarakhand enacted its Organic Agriculture Act in January 2020. The Act, aimed at moving the state toward 100 percent organic agriculture and modeled after the steps the state of Sikkim took under its 2014 Agriculture, Horticulture Input and Livestock Feed Regulatory Act, will regulate the sale of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, private agencies, NGOs, traders engaged in export, trade and processing of organic agricultural products would be regulated. With the Act in place, organic certification will be simplified.
Organic blueberry production in Guizhou Province is set to expand, as plants reach fruit-bearing age in 2022. Chinese consumers look for sweet fruit and are increasingly interested in healthy fruit, such as organic blueberries. Weather conditions led to a 10 percent decline in blueberry production in Guizhou in 2019.
Rates of adopting organic agriculture methods in Southeast Asia range from 0.08 percent in Myanmar to 1.61 percent in Philippines.
To foster export of textiles and cosmetics, India’s government plans to expand organic certification to cover those products, announced the chair of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) at a recent trade fair.
In the first three quarters of 2019, US organic commodity exports tracked in the USDA’s Global Agricultural Trade System were up 14 percent to reach $505.7 million. Leading importers of US organic products are Canada (up 3 percent) and Mexico (up140 percent, led by organic apples and pears.)
As part of redesigning the product range, Aldi Sud stores offer red onions in only the organic version, joining carrots and pumpkins which are only available as organic in the stores. Organic products account for 7.7 percent of food sales in the stores, and Aldi Süd offer about 330 organic products.
Nov. 1, 2019
A report from L'Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques found there were at least 1,970 local shops specializing in organic food, with 83 percent of them found in central urban areas.
Retail trends in China include increased night-time commerce, new shopping behaviors from younger consumers, and increased influence of “community consumers” according to a reasearch sharing session at the China Retail 2019 event in Shanghai.
In order to promote and preserve the health of citizens and the health of the planet, 14 of the world’s large cities have agreed to the C40 Good Food Cities Declaration. Mayors of those cites will use their procurement powers to change what kind of food cities buy. The declaration encourages sourcing food from organic agriculture, as well as reducing food waste, and supporting plant-based foods. C40 is a network of 94 of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.
The market for organic food and beverages is expected to grow 9 percent annually, but is slowing from 10 percent average annual growth from 2013-2018. Consistent ingredient supply is a challenge, as is distrust of organic products from large corporations.