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Topic of the week

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.

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Topical Reports / Most recent reports

Kenya: organic farming is productive and resource-conserving

A long-term study in Kenya shows that maize yields and nutrient uptake in the organic farming systems are quite similar to conventional systems. Due to premium prices, organic systems are more profitable for farmers than conventional ones. The study was carried out by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in close cooperation with partners in Kenya.

 

by Editor (comments: 0)

Refugees welcome!

The biggest challenge of all is what we call “everyday life” – including when receiving and integrating refugees. There are many hurdles and forms to fill out – but also committed helpers. Among them are many actors in the organic industry. After all, behaving with social responsibility is one of the basics in the organic sector. Examples from Germany reveal how you can become an active participant and what that can achieve in people's daily lives. 

by Editor (comments: 0)

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)

Topical Reports / exclusive for subscribers

Coup in Turkey: impact on the organic industry

Turkey is an important supplier of organic products. Many west European organic companies maintain close business relations with Turkey. The attempted coup and its consequences could therefore have far-reaching implications for the organic sector. Manufacturers and the trade should ensure that they are well prepared.

Video of the organic project Narköy.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Logocos causing a commotion again – planning to sell denied

Bio-Markt.Info reported last December that  Logocos AG belongs to a Swiss holding company whose owners wish to remain anonymous. The German Lebensmittelzeitung now writes that the current proprietors – among them a Kazakh oligarch  – want to sell Logocos AG. Marc Christian Wedekind, chairman of the supervisory board at Logocos, denied this categoriacally when bio-markt.info spoke to him.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Demeter International adopts leitmotif for future operations

The Demeter International Members' Assembly was held from 13 to 18 June in Finland. In view of the challenges occurring in our time we need a paradigm shift in agriculture. The Demeter actors from all regions of the world saw in the biodynamic method a holistic model for societal change. Representatives of Demeter and biodynamic associations in 23 countries on five continents gathered to discuss and adopt strategies for taking forward agriculture and the food economy. There was also agreement that new gene technologies like CRISPR-Cas, Cisgenetics and TALEN have to be regulated, since they are technical interventions in cell and genome.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Share price falls: KTG Agrar facing insolvency

The listed agro-company KTG Agrar SE, one of the biggest growers of organic products, finds itself in a dramatic financial crisis. It was not able to pay the interest on a loan on time and many investors are already afraid the company is going bankrupt. As a consequemce, the share and bond prices of KTG Agrar have plunged. However, CEO Siegfried Hofreiter  assumes that they can get the situation under control.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Bitter aftertaste: Oxfam study of pineapple and banana cropping

Conventional tropical fruit for German supermarkets is being produced under horrifying ecological and social conditions.This is the picture presented by the development organisation Oxfam in a report dealing with pineapple production in Costa Rica and banana production in Ecuador. Criticism is also directed at the Rainforest Alliance that certified several of the plantations under investigation.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

"Alnatura is a social experiment"

Bees are buzzing and frogs are croaking in the grounds of the nature-based headquarters of Alnatura in Bickenbach (Hesse). And in the building belonging to one of the biggest organic companies in Germany there is much activity too. This where the  “working partnership“ develops ideas for new brand products, a 3D online shop and concepts for the store of the future. Founder Götz Rehn sees this collective activity as an “experiment on the way to a  social-organic model company“. 

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

US organic market achieves new record high

In 2015, the market for organic products in the United States reached a new peak of  US$43.3bn (€39.6bn). This figure was revealed in an investigation by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the US American manufacturers' association that carried out the study in collaboration with the Nutrition Business Journal in the first quarter of 2016.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

10th IFOAM EU Organic Congress - all links

Find the links to all articles from the 10th IFOAM EU Organic Congress at one place. Click here and you as a IFOAM EU member will get free access to all articles for 3 months.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Interview: "Only genuine progress justifies new organic legislation"

The trilogue between the European negotiating partners, Commission, Agriculture Committee and Parliament engaged in the revision of the EU organic regulation is entering the decisive round. It does not appear possible to adhere to the target of getting the organic legislation off the ground by the end of June. Although the trilogue is taking place behind closed doors, Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW), representing the interests of the organic industry in Germany, is being kept informed about the stage reached in the negotiations in Brussels.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Conventional food is considerably more expensive than organic food

For a long time the organic industry has been having a discussion about so-called externalized costs. But far from all consumers are aware of the fact that the low price of food is achieved at a cost because of the chemicals used in agriculture, factory farming and the severe consequences for the environment. Or they put it to the back of their minds. It’s high time to tell people the truth. This is the reason why Volkert Engelsman, head of the Dutch organic company Eosta, has launched the information campaign “The True Cost of Food”. Organic supermarkets have started to promote the campaign. The background and a video interview with Volkert Engelsman.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

What happens when EU states approve glyphosate again

The European parliament submitted a compromise proposal for extending the authorisation of the controversial herbicide glyphosate and voted with a big majority for certain conditions and an extension of only seven instead of fifteen years. This proposal is, however, not legally binding.The fact that the decision was postponed was a morale-booster for many people who oppose pesticides. Our author Leo Frühschütz spoke with Heike Moldenhauer, the expert in genetic engineering at the German Organisation for Environment and Nature Protection (BUND), about the chances of still being able to prevent a renewal of the authorisation of glyphosate.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

EU vote: German minister can ban glyphosate

It is likely that on 18 or 19 May the EU member states will vote on whether and under what conditions to approve the renewal of authorisation of glyphosate. An open letter calls on the German Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, to vote against approval and thus to prevent further authorisation of glyphosate. The European Commission now wants to restrict the renewal of authorisation to 10 years. In its proposal at the beginning of March renewal was for 15 years. The Dutch Council Presidency had called for a reduction of five years, the Greens asked for a complete ban.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

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