In the first half of 2018, 136 new organic supermarkets and food shops opened in France, and 46 natural food stores closed. Biocoop leads the way with 37 new retail outlets. In addition, Carrefour and Leclerc supermarkets are expanding their organic private label offerings. With 1.7 million hectares dedicated to organic production, France is second to Germany in the organic sector in Europe.
Following a detailed review, the Soil Association has updated its organic standards, and changes will become effective for Soil Association licensees in April 2019. The changes were made to make sure the standards are “straightforward, transparent and clear as possible” for licensees to use and for the public to understand.
Instead of five logos, changes to Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) logos will leave three logos for use. Previously, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) logos differentiated 1) General JAS for the standardization of products, 2) organic production, 3) products with distinguishable qualities or features (such as aged ham, aged sausage, aged bacon, locally bred free-range chicken, and hand-stretched dried noodle), 4) production method information, and 5) distribution conditions (such as temperature control). The organic JAS logo will add the term “Organic” to the top of the existing logo. Meanwhile, a new logo replaces 3-5 above into a single logo that depicts Mt. Fuji and a setting sun. The new logo includes a space to indicate which specification, such as ‘sustainable aquaculture,’ applies.
The domestic market for organic foods in India is expected to reach US$ 1.7 billion by 2020, approximately triple its current value at US$559 million. Organic packaged foods, in particular, are expected to boost organic sales. Most of the market is supplied by over 200 small businesses, with Organic India holding the largest market share at 9 percent.
Chile’s organic food exports to the European Union from January to August 2018 exceeded its exports for all of 2017. An equivalency agreement between the EU and Chile came into force in 2018.
Part of the Act for Food program, Carrefour’s pop-up store features organic, sustainable, and local foods, including the Carrefour Bio brand. The program also seeks to shift 50 companies to organic production to increase the availability of organic products from Belgium. Located in the Brussels municipality of Elsene, the store will be open until the end of 2018.
Organic regulations in effect beginning July 1, 2018 require the use of India’s organic logo on imported organic products, including products from the United States. The Government of India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has extended the deadline for allowing imported organic products to enter India with a non-detachable sticker of FSSAI’s organic logo until December 31, 2018. Absent the FSSAI organic logo, imported organic food products will not be allowed entry into India.
A coordinated study of consumers in Germany, France, Denmark, China, and Thailand found that shoppers prefer organic products over non-organic and domestic products over imported, except in emerging markets, which prefer imported products. In addition, imported products from developed countries were preferred over other imported products. The preferences for organic and by country of origin depend on environmental concern, trust in countries as producers of organic food, and ethnocentrism. The study will be published in the March 2019 issue of Food Quality and Preference.
Organic packaged food sales grew one percent in 2017, to reach US$371 million, and the confectionery sales led the way, with sales up 4 percent to reach US$3.5 million. Artisanal brands accounted for about 84 percent of the organic packaged foods market. E-commerce was the largest sales channel for organic packaged foods, with 40 percent of the sales.
Work is ongoing to fill in sections of the new European Union regulations, and poultry production details are part of the discussions of the EU’s Committee on Organic Production, reports Organic-Market.info. Facilities with as many as 30,000 hens are still a possibility in a stable surrounded by long, tubular runs which would technically meet the requirements. In addition, as many as 10,000 chicks up to 18 weeks old could be allowed, as the space requirements for young animals could be decreased and the numbers of chicks increased. The committee has also discussed limiting the number of floors in aviaries to three, instead of four.
The Woolworths Group of supermarkets started a US$21.4 million fund to provide grants and interest-free loans to Australian farmers to expand or start organic fruit and vegetable production. Along with the funds, farmers have sales contracts with Woolworths. Demand for organic produce has increased 20 percent annually.
Swiss supermarket Coop increased its organic turnover 15 percent in the last year and 22 percent of fresh produce turnover was organic. Sales of blueberries and other soft fruits are growing fast. Swiss shoppers prefer domestic products, with about 60 percent of vegetables and 40 percent of fruits in Coop’s stores coming from Switzerland.
Oct. 18, 2018
Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, has a 100 acre organic demonstration farm in Kampiringisa. Crops on the farm, the first organic model farm in the country, include tomatoes, green beans, okra, cabbages, eggplants, cucumber, water spinach, pumpkins, peppers, cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, banana, cashew nuts, jute, strawberries, and sweet corn. Uganda exported about US$55 million in organic products, as of 2015/16 fiscal year.
Carrefour Brazil intends to double its organic product sales by 2020, in part through changes in store visuals and logistics and making organic products more affordable. The chain intends to reduce the price difference for organic products from 25 percent to 15 percent. Organic sales comprise about 0.6 percent of Brazil’s total sales.
Using inter-cropping systems, the Ukhrul District Fisheries Department has opened a ‘one-stop aqua shop’ to demonstrate organic farming methods and encourage organic farming. The department intends to develop a model farm and model market on the paddy land.
Land devoted to organic cultivation is up 10.2 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, to reach one percent of Ukrainian farmland ( 420,00 hectares). About half (45.4 percent) the organic farmland is used for growing grain. Another 18 percent of organic farmland is devoted to oilseeds; legumes make up 5.3 percent, and fruits and vegetables comprise about 2.3 percent of organic cropland.
Unless the United Kingdom (UK) arranges a transitional period for organic trade as they country withdraws from the European Union (EU), UK control bodies might be limited to only certification for domestic sales. The UK could apply for equivalence as an EU third country, a process that can take up to nine months, and could only begin on April 1, 2019 at the earliest. The Organic Trade Board and the UK Organic Certifiers Group are working with the UK’s Department of Education , Food and Rural Affairs to find solutions that will be least disruptive to trade.
The Finnish Organic Food Association says organic food sales there total €312 million, up 13 percent from the middle of 2017 to the middle of 2018. Organic foods represent about 2.3 percent of the food market, Fruit, milk, vegetables, eggs and coffee bring in the most money, and products with the highest market share include vegetable oils, eggs, baby food, and breakfast cereal.
With organic products on demand for export, India’s domestic market is also expected to grow from approximately US$271million to US$1.3 billion in the next three years.
China’s Golden Week holiday (Oct. 1-7)drove sales of organic food, as well as fashionable clothes, gold, silver, jewelry, and environmentally-friendly home furnishings. Overall, retail and catering sales were up 10 percent compared to the holiday period in 2017.