BioFach and Vivaness, the world's leading trade fairs for organic food and natural cosmetics is back as a live event and has welcomed exhibitors and trade visitors to a Summer Edition. BiO Reporter International was there and captured impressions and information.
Find the article here with pictures and two videos (German with English subtitles)
At the opening ceremony, Cem Özdemir, Minister for Agriculture and Food, made a strong case for organic farming and for Biofach: "Let us understand climate and nature protection as the love of nature", he declared in his speech. Biofach, he said, is also always a bracket for the sector and the issues surrounding the organic food sector. Biofach, he said, is about exchanging ideas, trading, driving innovation and making money. "Today, more than ever, it makes a difference what you earn your money with or what you should earn your money with, namely in harmony with people and nature and not against them. For more than 30 years, Biofach has been providing impulses for a food system that is sustainable." Especially now, he said, it is becoming apparent how important it is to have one's own economy and one's own nutrient cycles in order to be more independent. "This is precisely why the example of organic farming is so important for us. Organic farming is one of the most important answers to our planetary crises," Özdemir emphasised.
At the opening press conference, Petra Wolf, Member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse, explained the lessons learned from two years of a pandemic: "The future trade fairs are multidimensional, and we have also implemented this at Biofach / Vivaness. We have the trade fair on-site with many opportunities for meeting, direct contact and exchange, and we have digital offerings.
She was very pleased with 2276 exhibitors, 176 of them at Vivaness. "We are thrilled about the high internationality with exhibitors from 94 countries, the ratio between national and international exhibitors is 30% to 70%. This shows us that Biofach and Vivaness are rightly described as the world's leading trade fairs for organic food and natural cosmetics.
From the 443 new products to be discovered at the two new product stands, experts have identified the trends, according to Wolf: "These are climate-conscious products, domestic raw materials, sustainable packaging solutions, animal welfare and plastic avoidance. For Vivaness, the trends are called Natural, Vegan Cosmetics, Holistic Hair care and Local Heroes. These trends all have something in common, a common thread, namely the megatrends of sustainability and climate protection. These set the agenda alongside the current crises and challenges. They also play an essential role in the 173 congress contributions under the motto Organic - Climate - Resilience.
Louise Luttikholt, IFOAM Organics International, painted a picture of the current crises and challenges, but also offered some solutions: "The pandemic has really put a lot of stress on us, but compared to climate change, it could be the lesser of two evils and this hot summer of 2022 could go down in history as one of the coolest for generations to come. On top of that, we are living with the war in Ukraine, which is tragic for the people there but also for global humanity and we have to live with the consequences."
The UN Food System Summit has strongly advised a holistic agroecology, which could also support and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"Organic agriculture offers fundamental answers to the challenges posed by the climate crisis," said BÖLW President Tina Andres. "We thought climate change would happen in the future and it is shocking to see how close it is.
30% climate impact by the agriculture and food sector on a global level offers a lot of options for action, but they need to be pushed now, without hesitation. "We need adherence to the Farm to Fork strategy, we need freedom of choice for non-GMO food. Right now, with nitrogen fertiliser prices going through the roof, we see how much conventional food does not reflect true costs. External costs have been excluded from pricing so far, this must not happen in the future", Anders demanded.
90 billion in damages per year in Germany due to conventional agriculture is an economic catastrophe. In contrast, resistant systems must be developed, sovereign and self-sufficient in food. "Consumers have understood this, and politicians have also understood it on paper. What we need now are clear and unequivocal signals that this is now being implemented. We have been waiting for this for half a year, which is clearly too long. The big crises don't wait until we are ready. The future is happening now," stressed Andres.
Natural cosmetics expert Mirja Eckert, THE NEW, explained her perceptions and insights into the natural cosmetics market: "We are in the VUKA world whose characteristics are volatility - uncertainty - complexity - ambivalence. The overall cosmetics market in the German-speaking region is a saturated market and has continuously gained importance and expanded in sales for more than 15 years. This year, however, natural cosmetics have underperformed in the overall market. This is due to shifts between the product groups and distribution channels. The product groups decorative cosmetics and fragrances were able to recover, but they have a low status in natural cosmetics. There were good results in the pioneer category of natural cosmetics, facial care.
"In terms of distribution channels, the most important sales channel for natural cosmetics, the drugstores, looks like a slight plus in the first half of the year," says Eckert. However, there was a lack of frequency in the consumer markets, as well as in the specialised trade. The discounters, on the other hand, with their selective range of products, have yet to prove themselves as a place to shop for natural cosmetics. Among buyers and target groups, there is great potential in the topic of identity, driven by social media, the keywords being diversity, self-determination and gendering.
"What excites me so much about BioFach Vivaness," said Eckert, "is the diversity of lifestyles covered here. Vivaness in particular, with its many trend themes, pays tribute to this and reflects well the growing interest in ethical and moral consumption."
Author: Karin Heinze, BiO Reporter International