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BioFach Globally: successfully developing international organic markets

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The global market for organic food in 2011 is estimated at almost 63 billion US dollars. More than thirty-seven million hectares of agricultural land worldwide are farmed organically in 162 countries. (Source: FiBL & IFOAM) The BioFach network with its six events is also present around the globe again in 2013 and will bring together supply and demand. Top News of the BioFach countries are: China stands out for its implementation of strict organic legislation, the forecasts for India and Japan are good, USA and Brazil are strong markets in the West. Please watch our video interviews from each country representative. (Picture: BioFach China develops very fast)Agricultural production and processing of organic food in China have been regarded critically in the past in China and abroad. The new legislation that took effect on 1 March 2012 and the labelling regulations in force since 1 July 2012 are among the strictest in the world. They are intended to improve the image of the Chinese organic sector and lend credibility to the products. Since then, every organic product bears a 17-digit identification code, which enables it to be checked and traced in the national track and trace system for the organic label. This eliminates counterfeits.The implementation of the new regulations does, of course, mean a large administrative effort and additional costs for both manufacturers and importers, but the Chinese organic market will profit from the strict rules in the long term. (Picture: Huge interest for organic products at the BioFach China in Shanghai

Other conditions for further positive development of the organic market are already fulfilled. First China is an interesting sourcing country that offers a broad spectrum of raw materials on some 4 million hectares of certified organic land (growing and collection from the wild). Second Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly interested in organic food. This will give the market an impressive rise in sales in the future. According to official estimates, annual domestic organic market sales in 2015 should already be in the range from 3.9 to 9.4 billion US dollars. The Chinese consumers’ demand for a broader range of organic food also provides optimum development opportunities for organic firms from abroad. The more than 9 % increase in the number of visitors (15,963) at BioFach China in May 2012 confirmed the interest of the trade and the potential that exists in the Chinese organic market. The seventh edition of BioFach China welcomes exhibitors and visitors to the Shanghai INTEX Exhibition Centre from 23–25 May 2013. 

Video-interview with Tracy Feng, Project Manager BioFach China:



The organic market in Brazil has enjoyed steady growth for years. The supermarket chains in the cities are the main sales channel for organic food. According to figures from the Brazilian trade association Abras, these registered 8 % growth of organic sales to reach the equivalent of around 550 million US dollars in 2011. This positive development has already continued for several years and has encouraged trading chains to expand their organic ranges. On the other hand, specialist shops and stores follow some way behind in the sales statistics. If the regional distribution of the organic demand is considered, the special position of the state of São Paulo becomes clear: more than 56 % of the Brazilian domestic organic sales are generated here. Information from the agricultural authority shows that some 15,000 organic products are registered and that the current organic growing area of approx. 2.8 million hectares is increasing every year. The government also wants to give the production and sale of ecological products another boost with an organic support programme. Export business has also developed splendidly in the past year. The marketing project Organics Brazil, to which some 70 organic companies belong, set a new record of almost 212 million US dollars for sales in 2012. The target for 2013 is to increase the number of firms taking part to 100 and achieve a similar good result. This could succeed with organic sugar exports. After all, Brazil with an annual volume of about 250,000 tons is the world’s biggest exporter of this sweetener.

The cooperation with two powerful partners also contributes to successful further development of the market: In June 2012, NürnbergMesse and the Brazilian exhibition company Francal Feiras announced the merger of the Bio Brazil Fair and BioFach América Latina exhibitions to form the biggest platform for the organic market in Latin America. The first joint event takes place in São Paulo from 27–30 June 2013. 

Video interview with Ligia Amorim, Director NürnbergMesse Brazil:



The organic sector with about 500,000 jobs and annual sales of more than 31 billion US dollars (as of 2011) is meanwhile an important economic sector in the United States. Sales growth in 2011 defied the economic crisis and was up 9.5 % over the previous year. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) predicted a similarly large rise of around 9 % and more for 2012 and 2013. Analyses by the market research company SPINS show that growth in the organic food trade was even as much as 15 % in the middle of last year. The thoroughly successful development of the organic sector was even praised by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Council of Economic Advisors and the Rural Development Council in a report published in summer 2012. Experts from the Obama government emphasized aspects such as the importance of organic agriculture as part of agricultural production. The good mood in the sector was also felt at the sector’s most important event on the East Coast last autumn: Well over 21,000 visitors attended the exhibition duo Natural Products Expo East and BioFach America – All Things Organic in Baltimore. The space at BioFach America accommodated 190 organic exhibitors, including five official country pavilions (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Romania). 60 % of the exhibitors have already decided to exhibit again at the next exhibition, which takes place in Baltimore from 26–28 September 2013.

Video interview with Natural Expo East Show Director Erica Stone:



BioFach has been present in Japan since 2000. The 12th BioFach Japan last November gathered 212 exhibitors (2011: 170) and some 15,000 visitors in the Big Sight Exhibition Centre in Tokyo. The large international involvement of 14 nations was particularly encouraging. Perhaps the island state cannot show the rapid growth rates of the People’s Republic of China, but Japan has been a crisis-proof customer for organic products and a reliable trading partner for more than a decade. The organic agriculture area in Japan is nevertheless very small, and thus the degree of self-supply of organic products too. Even if the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries supports Japanese organic agriculture with aid programmes, the country still depends on the efficient import of organic products. The Japanese consumers also appreciate high-quality food from the varied European supply sources and are prepared to pay higher prices for quality. The organic market in Japan is thus developing continuously, which creates optimum marketing opportunities for organic companies from all over the world. Interested firms can see this for themselves at the 13th BioFach Japan, which takes place in Tokyo from 31 October – 2 November 2013.

Video interview with Toshi Ayukawa, Representative of NürnbergMesse in Japan:



Many federal states in India have set ambitious targets for the development of organic agriculture and organic product marketing. One of the pioneers is the state of Sikkim in Northwest India, where all agriculture is to be converted to organic by 2015. The government of the South Indian state of Karnataka is also committed to further development of the organic market: The Amrut Bhoomi programme, for example, provides the equivalent of 2.9 million euros for the conversion to organic agriculture and for training farmers. The national government is also adopting targeted measures to support the organic movement. A law on labelling genetically modified food came into force only recently – a big step in the right direction.

Video interview with Priya Sharma Senior Manager Indo-German Chamber of Commerce




Extending the organic farming area and increasing exports are also still right at the top of the country’s agenda. As far as India’s domestic market is concerned, the aspiring Indian middle class forms the largest group of buyers of organic food. With an extensive conference programme and an interactive student event, the exhibition duo of BioFach India together with India Organic in November 2012 contributed to highlighting the advantages of organic cultivation and lifestyle even more. On top of this, firms wanting to develop the Indian market were able to take part in a buyer’s programme organized by NürnbergMesse and supported by the state of Karnataka. Another highlight at the exhibition was the German pavilion sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), where eleven exhibitors presented their products. It will also be present in 2013. BioFach India together with India Organic is the international platform for producers and traders, for products, information exchange and ideas from 14–16 November 2013.

Video interview with Rohitashwa Gakhar,  ICCOA Competence Center of Organic Agriculture  



Video interview with Jaydeep Roy, ICCOA:




Contact for NürnbergMesse China
Ms Tracy Feng, Tel +86 (0) 21. 52 28 40 20

Contact for BioFach India and Japan international exhibitors:
Mr Frank Venjakob
Tel +49 (0) 9 11. 86 06-86 97

Contact for NürnbergMesse Brazil
Ms Ligia Amorim, Tel +55 (11) 32 05. 50 00

Contact for international exhibitors BioFach America:
Ms Katharina Horn, Tel +49 (0) 9 11. 86 06-81 79


About BioFach
The World Organic Trade Fair BioFach is distinguished by its vigour, internationality and innovative power. Together with Vivaness, the Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care and Wellness, it attracts over 2,300 exhibitors – more than two-thirds of them from abroad – and more than 40,000 trade visitors from approx. 130 countries to Nürnberg every year in February. Under the patronage of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) and with BÖLW (German Federation of the Organic Food Industry) as national supporting organization, BioFach guarantees the constantly high quality of the products on display through strict admission criteria. BioFach is present throughout the world with its own events in Japan, the United States, South America, China and India.

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