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Topic of the week

High-tech in organic agriculture: the Internet of Things

Robots, sensors and artificial intelligence: The Internet of Things is becoming more and more involved in agriculture. This also presents opportunities for the organic sector.

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Topical Reports / Most recent reports

OTA: US organic market worth $49.4 bn

Recently, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) released its annual Organic Industry Survey 2017. As the study shows, the number of organic products purchased in the USA increased again – up to 6.4% within last year. Further, the OTA revealed that the American organic market is growing six times as fast as the market as a whole.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Global protests: March Against Monsanto #MAM

The organisation March Against Monsanto #MAM announced that 2018 May 19th will be the date for the 7th international March Against Monsanto grassroots campaign. The global events will take place in hundreds of cities on six continents with the objective to further educate and raise awareness about Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and the increasingly toxic food supply, as well as its merger with the German pesticide, GMO and pharmaceutical giant Bayer.  

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

IFOAM and FiBL study: Socio-economic impacts of GMOs on European agriculture

IFOAM EU Group recently released a new study on the impacts of GMOs on European agriculture, in partnership with FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture). Because of the high risk of adventitious presence of GMOs at different steps of the production chain and the consequences, there is a huge effort and high expense for measures to avoid contamination. The study aims at identifying coexistence strategies of non-GM and organic supply chain actors to ensure GMO-free products and estimate the coexistence costs.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Topical Reports / exclusive for subscribers

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)

EU Research Programme “Food 2030” – Opportunities for Organic Actors?

The focus of the fifth Science Day at BioFach in Nuremberg was on the opportunities and possibilities that intensification of research in the organic sector would bring. Taking part were around 50 members of the community engaged in research in organic agriculture and organic food. The major theme at the event was long-term strategies.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

Austria: organic manufacturers focus on regional marketing

Sonnentor and Zotter are two Austrian wholefood manufacturers that have made a name for themselves at home and abroad and it's quite possible there will be others too, because the number of organic manufacturers in Austria is growing continuously as the organic share in total food sales rises.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

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