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OMF 2012 – full success in Warsaw

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The 7th "Organic Marketing Forum - International Meeting on Processing and Marketing of Organic Products and Raw Materials“ in Warsaw (pictures) convinced exhibitors and visitors once again. The international meeting was visited by organic producers, traders, importers and farmers from 26 countries to discuss organic trends and to make new contacts. At the meeting was a change of the organic sector of Central Europe and Eastern Europe clearly to notice: from supplier of raw material to domestic markets with growing organic sales and an interesting offer of organic food to export. With approx. 350 participants the Organic Marketing Forum had a constant acceptance from the European organic companies. In addition the conference program was well received, and the atmosphere among the visitors was very good. With this positiv results the forum could extend its position as the largest international branch meeting for the organic market sector in Central and Eastern Europe.
 

The subject of this year's Organic Marketing Forum (OMF) was "Transparency and credibility as selling points to customers ". This subject appeared in many statements and during many discussions. At the opening of the meeting Andrzej Butra, the Polish Deputy Minister of Agriculture stressed the importance of the control system for the credibility of organic production and promised further support to the organic sector. Andrzej Halasiewicz, adviser to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski stressed the importance of organic agriculture for rural development. Bernhard Jansen, Chairman of EkoConnect - International Centre for Organic Agriculture of Central and Eastern Europe, the main organizer of the meeting, in his welcome speech urged to ensure that consumer confidence should be seen as the supreme good and the answer to this demand is the thruthfullness of organic products and its high quality. Bernhard Jansen said: "Our aim must not be a rapid, but rather a sustainable growth of organic markets."
 

The specialist presentations of the forum, most of which were held by entrepreneurs, discussed current organic issues and ways to achieve even better cooperation in the organic community. In this way, Andreas Wenning from Rapunzel stressed the responsibility for entire value chain as a condition for sustainability and he appreciated the efforts to build organic domestic markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Janez Cretnik, the owner of the wholesaler Mediacor from Slovenia, serving 250 customers with catering services, noted the large market opportunities in the catering sector in the former countries of Yugoslavia. Ionut Teglas from the Romanian wholesaler and retailer Leacul showed in various examples how the cooperation with neighboring countries of Romania can be successful.
 

Especially the workshops at the forum attracted particular interests, during which 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe were presented with their leading organic companies. It turned out that countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Baltic States, Romania and Hungary have made great progress in further building up the domestic processing and retailing sector and that they are not just suppliers of raw materials any more, rather they developed to suppliers of competitive organic food and have also interesting domestic sales markets for organic products. Also in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the Balkan countries, there are now functioning wholesale and retail structures and growing sales in the local markets. Of particular interest is the observation that more and more manufacturers and traders from Central and Eastern Europe began to consider their own countries as important for selling and buying instead of just orienting on the European West.
 

Another workshop which attracted considerable interest was organized by the IFOAM EU Group. The subject was the setup of a working group of experts on processing of organic products and discussions of the directives on the production of organic food. Another workshop was about the strategies for further development of organic agriculture in Poland and activities for raising consumer awareness for organic products.

During the evening "Get-Together" for the first time the prize for the best organic stores in Poland (Organic Polish Point of Sales Award) was awarded. Polish wholesalers and experts were part of the jury. The prize was awarded in four categories. Below is a list of winners:
 

A. Small organic shop in the category up to 55 m²: 

1st Prize: Dary Natury, Kraków, ul. Krakowska 21
2nd Prize: Eko-Chata, Toruñ, ul. Szosa Chelmiñska 141
3rd Prize: Oreganic Farma Zdrowia, Wola Park, Warsaw, ul. Górczewska 124


B. Large organic shop in the category over 55 m²: 

1st Prize: Smak Natury, Warsaw, Al. Ken 19, lok 1, 
2nd Prize: Organic Farma Zdrowia, Warsaw, Arkadia, ul. Jana Pawla II 82
3rd Prize: Przedsiebiorstwo Konekol, Bydgoszcz, ul. Polanka 26
 

C. Supermarket with organic offer

1st Prize: Spolem, Warsaw, ul. Nowy Œwiat 53
2nd Prize: K & M Delikatesy, Warsaw, ul. Wspolna 24 
3rd Prize: Alma Mark, Kraków, ul. Pilotów 6
 

D. Special award: best Polish retail chain of organic products

1st Prize: Organic Farma Zdrowia; Warsaw
2nd Prizes: FREE, Warsaw, and Zolty Cesarz, Warsaw
 

The prize for the best organic product "Best of Organic" was awarded by the visitors of the exhibition of the OMF. This year it was awarded to the cheese producer Heuvland of the Republic of Moldova for its yellow herbal cheese "Queen". The second prize went to Yogi Tee GmbH of Germany for the tea, "Yogi Tee - ginger, orange, vanilla," and the third to the company AB Žemaitijos Pienas from Lithuania for Gouda-type cheese called "Dobilas".
 

On the third day of the forum, three excursions took place, which this year focused on organic farms, processing companies and retailers as well as an experimental farm with demonstration fields. The organizer of the OMF is EkoConnect – International Centre for Organic Agriculture of Central and Eastern Europe. Partners are the producers association “Polska Ekologia“, the Organic Farming Association "Ekoland“, the Polish Advisory Centre CDR and the Organic Retailers Association (ORA). In addition, for the first time OMF was organized in close cooperation with BioFach. The forum takes place under the patronage of the Polish Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development and the IFOAM EU Group. More information on the Organic Marketing Forum is available here www.organic-marketing-forum.org.


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