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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

Pural: “active for 20 years in the wholefood industry“

In the 20 years since   it was founded, Pural Vertriebs GmbH is one of the few wholesalers that has developed into a powerful sales partner for the wholefood trade nationwide. The ongoing extension of the product range with exclusive brands and innovative labels, the takeover of regional distribution companies and the resulting expansion and, not least, the arm of the business dealing with the health food and orgnic trade, including abroad, contributed to the dynamic development of the Pural group of companies. Another contributing factor is that second-generation family members with great commitment have entered the business. Ulrike and Heinz Claus explain the development of their company and  their view of  loyalty to the specialist trade. (Video interview with Ulrike Claus)

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

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)

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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