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Topic of the week

WALA – building for the future

A great deal has been packed into WALA's new laboratory building – far more than just the very latest analysis and environmental technology. The organically structured glass building in Bad Boll is sending out a signal. The objective of this manufacturer of medicines and natural cosmetics is to build a bridge to scientific research in order to create a joint approach to solving important medical issues, to research phytoactive agents and to develop new ideas. The company thinks long-term and is investing in the future. Get some impressions from Bad Boll from this video.

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Topical Reports / Most recent reports

China – one of the top 4 organic markets worldwide

For years there were no official figures available for the organic market in the People's Republic of China, even though this huge country has for a long time been supplying a lot of organic products. According to the data we now have access to, catapulted China into fourth place in the worldwide ranking of organic markets. Karin Heinze has been travelling in China and at BioFach in Shanghai she spoke to the chairman of IFOAM-Asia Zhou Zheijang and Markus Arbenz, the managing director of IFOAM Organics International (Video and Gallery).

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Brexit – What's next?

The British voted by a  small majority to exit the European Union. That has consequences for the wider economy and for the EU. The wholefood industry has so far shown itself to be not particularly worried. Can that be right? After the British decision to leave the EU companies in other industries set up crisis management teams or at least working groups to assess the impact, but in the  wholefood sector most firms are operating the principle of 'business as usual'. In fact, there are many questions to be addressed, and they affect the organic sector too.

by Editor (comments: 0)

New EU organic legislation: the courage to say No

After two-and-a-half years of negotiations, one thing can be said about the planned new organic legislation: it's not yet ready. “Because of the obstructive approach of the EU Commission the ambitious Dutch leaders in the negotiations will not succeed in finishing the revision as planned by the time of the meeting of EU Ministers of Agriculture to be held on 27- 28 June in Luxembourg,“ says Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, the chair of the German Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW). “We welcome the fact that the EU Parliament and member states are remaining steadfastly opposed to the nonsensical proposals of the EU Commission.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Topical Reports / exclusive for subscribers

Databases to combat organic fraud

Organic controls – that often means a lot of physical paperwork and the difficult exchange of information across borders. Added to this are impenetrable trade flows. Databases could be the remedy – and make life difficult for potential fraudsters. The Organic Integrity Platform (OIP) is now mandatory for cereals in Italy. The OIP could be a model for other countries.  

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Fall in the price of cocoa – but not of organic cocoa

The producer price of cocoa has fallen by 40 % within one year. It is currently hovering between 1,800 and 1,900 US dollars per tonne. That's 1,600 to 1,700 euros – not enough for the cocoa farmers to live on. Do organic producers get more? Organic-Market.info asked organic cocoa importers and suppliers this question.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

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.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Italy: posts new record in organic sales

 

Nielsen data presented by the Italian Association for Organic Trade AssoBio show a very positive trend in the sale of organic food in Italian supermarkets. From January to April this year, total sales (food, drinks, pet food) increased by 3.7%, up from 0.5% in 2016. The share of organic food in the total food sales increased from 2% in 2013 to 3.4%. Italian consumer purchases in supermarkets have more than tripled since 2009. Also traditional specialized organic shops are growing. 83% of Italian households bought organic products in 2016.

 

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

The Amazon - Whole Foods deal: searching for the Holy Grail

The internet giant Amazon has made a takeover bid for the American retail food chain Whole Foods Market. This constitutes a direct attack on the established retail food corporations. Looking at the deal from a European and German perspective, it is unlikely that the reaction will be takeover bids for German organic supermarkets.

by Jochen Bettzieche (comments: 0)

Stavtrend: a cautionary tale of organic fraud

A Slovak trader sent 2,000 tonnes of what was assumed to be conventional wheat to Germany via Italy. Analysis of the case reveals that the organic control system works, but that things can nevertheless go wrong.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Fraud cases in the US: how conventional became organic

The Washington Post reports the case of three shipments of so-called organic corn and soy to the USA. After thorough research, it established the origin of the shipments and revealed organic fraud on a massive scale. After the article was published the Organic Trade Association (OTA) calls on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Organic Program to thoroughly and immediately complete investigations of any reports of fraudulent imported organic livestock feed either alleged in the story or otherwise reported by trade.

by Editor (comments: 0)

New plant varieties needed

While in southern Bavaria frost and snow at the end of April caused the fruit blossom to freeze, farmers in other regions in Germany were moaning about drought. And that's just the start – coming down the line is climate change and it's imperative that the food industry adjusts to what is on the way.

by Jochen Bettzieche (comments: 0)

A gap in fair trade

On the high seas fair working conditions are not always adhered to. In the cargo of transport ships there may be a container with fair trade goods and, given the working conditions, they can no longer be called fair. For a number of years two seafarer unions have wanted to introduce a fair transport logo. The response has been lukewarm.

by Jochen Bettzieche (comments: 0)

David against Goliath in the Vinschgau Region

A municipality in the Italian province of South Tyrol dispenses with all pesticides. The governor of the province objects and senses it could set a precedent. But many people are supporting the pesticide opponents of Mals.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Indian organic food sector: Promising investment destination

Until recently, India’s organic food industry has relied, to an extent, on export demand issuing from overseas markets such as the US, Europe, Japan and the Middle East. But now the domestic market, previously branded as niche, is finally taking wings

by Editor (comments: 0)

Both rich and poor embrace organic in Maharashtra’s Pune

Customers from all walks of life queue up at the farmers’ markets selling organic fresh produce. (Article first published in Pure & Eco India).

 

by Editor (comments: 0)

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