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Topic of the week

Santaverde: three decades for and with Aloe vera

The natural cosmetics firm Santaverde has for 30 years been synonymous with high-value Aloe vera products. As newcomers to the industry, Sabine and Kurt Beer developed the growing and processing of Aloe vera on their own finca in the south of Spain. They also organise regular seminars in Estepona at which specialist dealers and cosmeticians receive training. Our author Bettina Pabel attended one of these sessions.

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Topical Reports / Most recent reports

Tribunal gathers evidence of Monsanto´s ecocide

The Monsanto Tribunal was held in the middle of October in The Hague. A panel of five prestigious judges listened to witnesses from all over the world. Lawyers, farmers, mothers, health experts and scientists made serious accusations against the American chemicals and seed corporation Monsanto. The aim is to incorporate ecocide into international law. The People´s Assembly, that was held in parallel to the Tribunal, has already  “condemned“ Monsanto (watch the videos). More reports from The Hague.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Showcase projects: organic tea in China

In China quite a lot of entrepreneurs see the future of tea growing in general and the future of their own companies in the organic sector. Trading organic teas is still mostly dominated by exporting but they are working on innovative concepts in order to open up the domestic market in China. Three examples from classic tea cultivation regions in the south of China illustrate this development. The report and the video take us to the Hangzhou region and the mountainous Yunnan province, the cradle of the tea culture. The video shows various organic tea gardens, harvesting, processing and also an interview with the founder of the firm Dongzhai.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Organic is becoming increasingly popular in Ukraine

In recent years Ukraine has attracted attention mainly on account of two issues connected with organic agriculture in Germany. First, an increasing proportion of organic fodder in Europe is being covered by imports from Ukraine. And second there are cases of residues and also fraud concerning the big and complex organic trade structures in the south of Ukraine, and they have never been completely cleared up. The end result is a very one-sided and  rather negative image of the country. The following contribution shows that organic in Ukraine is, however, also very vibrant and diverse and that organic products are becoming increasingly popular in the country itself. The domestic market is constantly growing.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Topical Reports / exclusive for subscribers

Sustainable Foods Summit Highlighted Key Industry Concerns

The food industry needs to take greater steps towards sustainable development. This was one of the key messages from the Sustainable Foods Summit Europe. Soil fertility, carbon management, regulatory framework, and sustainable food production were stated as major areas of concern.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Ökotopia 35 years old – the name says it all

Based on the title of the novel by Ernest Callenbach, the name Ökotopia came about 35 years ago. The theme of the book  is a society organized according to the tenets of environmental and social responsibility.This aim became firmly established in the corporate philosophy of this coffee and tea specialist.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Biocoop: premier driving force in France

Despite the existence of several successful network and franchise systems in the organic sector, Biocoop remains the biggest association of independent retailers in France. In 2014, turnover increased by 13.4 % to € 657m.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Supporting projects in developing and emerging countries

Launching a project abroad is often no easy undertaking. Facing this challenge are mainly companies that want to start, for example, a cropping and processing project in countries outside Europe.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Organic market in France grows by 10 %

There is strong demand for organic food in France and the market is continually growing. In 2014, turnover grew by 10 % compared with 2013 and amounted to five billion euros (Germany 7.8 billion euros). Per capita expenditure in France was 75 euros and the equivalent figure in Germany was 95 euros.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Turkish control organization ETKO loses EU authorization

With the Implementing Regulation 931/2015 the EU Commission removed the Turkish Control Organization ETKO from “The list of recognized control bodies for the purpose of equivalence”. It is unclear what consequences these decisions have for supplies of cereals and seed that were certified by ETKO and sent to the EU but have not yet been processed or consumed.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Oslo: Norway’s organic industry ready to expand

When it comes to the production and consumption of organics, Norway is one of the countries lagging behind in Europe. Further evidence is the fact that we can’t get up-to-date organic data about Norway – this most western of the Scandinavian countries and also one that is not a member of the EU.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Bio-Planet: food retailer’s subsidiary an important player in Belgium

In April 2015, Bio-Planet’s fifteenth organic supermarket was opened in Halle, 20 km south-west of Brussels. 14 years ago in 2001, the first Bio-Planet store was launched in Kortrijk.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Natrue Membership Assembly was a big success

The Association for Natural & Organic Cosmetics Natrue hosted a highly successful Membership Assembly on 22 May. At the meeting new members were welcomed and old members were updated of the latest endeavours in the world of natural and organic cosmetics.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Crowdfunding: money via the internet

According to a current study by Ernst & Young and the Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge, crowdfunding and other alternative methods of financing are booming in Europe.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Organic supermarkets in Belgium: Biocap has three stores

The specialist wholefood trade in Belgium lags behind countries like Germany and France. Large-scale specialist organic stores (over 200 m²) and organic supermarkets (over 400 m²) are far from being the standard in organic marketing. Three of the nearly two dozen Belgian organic supermarkets operate under the title Biocap.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Nature´s Secrets: Sri Lankan Natural Cosmetics

The Sri Lankan Company Nature's Beauty Creations (NBC) with its natural cosmetics brand Nature's Secrets is the largest and leading manufacturer of herbal cosmetics in Sri Lanka. NBC has its own medicinal plant garden and Plant Research Centre on the west coast of Sri Lanka. 

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

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