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Topic of the week

German company GEPA: “spearheading fair trade”

The biggest fair trade firm in Europe, domiciled in Wuppertal in Germany, is delighted with another good business year: in 2016 the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Partnerschaft mit der Dritten Welt mbH (GEPA) – The Fair Trade Company - recorded growth of around 7 percent and achieved turnover of 74 million euros. With the appointment of Peter Schaumberger the company is headed by two managing directors, with Schaumberger becoming the brand and distribution manager. He intends to increase the proportion of organics in the product range and concentrate his attention on sustainability and climate change. The company also involves itself in world economic and development policy issues.

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Topical Reports / Most recent reports

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)

Monsanto in court

Tribunals are set up to deal with serious crimes, to indict people guilty of crimes against humanity and to punish them. In the middle of October the Monsanto Tribunal will be held in The Hague. For three days, this symbolic citizens' court will hear plaintiffs from all over the world present a summary of the offences committed by Monsanto. The aim is to get the criminal offence of ecocide recognised in international law.Taking place in parallel, the People´s Assembly will work on devising strategies and concepts for conserving resources and ensuring a viable future.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Natural cosmetics: ”Quality and company development secure the future”

The first quarter of 2016 the market registered growth of roughly 10 %. Together with the turnover of nature-based cosmetics, natural cosmetics have achieved a market share of around 15 %, i.e. turnover of approximately two billion euros. A super result in view of the saturated cosmetics market. Looking at these figures, it's important to note that long-term commitment by the companies pays off, not only in financial terms but also in physical growth. We talked with natural & organic cosmetics expert Elfriede Dambacher about developments, concepts and the future.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Topical Reports / exclusive for subscribers

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.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

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)

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