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BIOFACH/VIVANESS 2023: Trade fair and industry present themselves powerfully with a positive spirit

The international kick-off of the year for the organic food and natural cosmetics sector was brilliant with almost 36,000 trade visitors from 135 countries. A convincing industry meeting that - in keeping with the motto "Paving the Path" - radiated self-confidence and confidence. In addition, with the congress focus on "Bio. Food Sovereignty. True Prices", the Congress had a highly relevant political message. The traditional "family reunion" of the global organic community at BIOFACH and VIVANESS in Nuremberg again thrived on the diversity of innovative ideas, inspiring exchange and networking. The organic sector and the exhibition duo showed themselves to be crisis-resistant. Both underlined this with a turnover of 15.3 billion euros in 2022 in the German organic market (BÖLW) and 125 billion euros in 2021 globally (IFOAM/ FiBL) and an impressive presence of 2,765 exhibitors from 95 countries.

Organic provides immediate, functional and forward-looking answers

"We are in the midst of a turning point and a multi-crisis: whether it is an energy crisis, a climate crisis or a species crisis, we have to provide the right answers now. And organics provide immediate, functional and forward-looking answers for a socio-ecological transformation and thus an agriculture and food economy that is suitable for grandchildren within the planetary limits," Tina Andres put it in a nutshell.

"BIOFACH leads the way as the world's leading trade fair for organic food with its motto "Paving the Path", sets the tone and anchor for the entire industry and draws the mission statement. This is where innovative and committed entrepreneurs as well as visionaries meet and network with a clear focus on 30 percent organic in 2030 and show with positive, powerful examples how we can shape the future differently." Tina Andres, Chair of the Board, Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW).

Tina Andres (BÖLW) und Karen Mapusua (IFOAM Organics International) bei der Eröffnungsfeier

"Full of strength and with strategies for the future, the players presented themselves here with us in Nuremberg. It is deeply touching and also fills me personally with great joy what a positive mood could be felt in the halls. It is remarkable how diverse, inspiring, solution-oriented and forward-looking this industry is. Organic remains and organic is the future!" Petra Wolf, NürnbergMesse

The huge Novelty Stand presented hundreds of innovative new food products

The German organic market is robust

The BÖLW balance sheet states: consumers will continue to rely on organic in 2022. Organic sales in 2022 were EUR 15.3 billion, 25% above pre-Corona in 2019 and only 3.5 per cent below 2021. This means that the increase in sales from the Corona period was largely maintained. 36,548 organic farms in Germany - every 7th farm - operated organically in 2022 (+3.5%). There was also a 3.7% increase in organic farmland to 1,869,227 ha. However, there were also words of reminder to the Federal Government not to lose sight of its 30% organic target in order to strengthen climate protection, biodiversity and food security.

Balance sheet press conference

A slight dip in sales - but consumers remain loyal to organic products

The organic food trade with its 100% organic product range shows a turnover of 3.83 billion EUR for 2022. With its 2,200 sales outlets, it accounts for 6% of the total of 36,000 food sales outlets in Germany. This corresponds to 20% of the total organic turnover. Despite the 12.3 per cent decline in the organic food trade, its total turnover is about 2% higher than that of 2019 (3.76 billion) and thus above the level before the corona pandemic.

The other shopping outlets, which include farm shops, online retailers (incl. delivery services), weekly markets, bakeries, butchers and health food shops, fell short of their 2021 turnover, now reaching EUR 1.97 billion in turnover, down 18%on 2021 and accounting for 13% of organic sales. The decline was to be expected after the run on producer-owned buying sites in the two previous years. The buying sites were able to maintain a 19% increase compared to 2019.

Interesting is the price trend: In times of high inflation rates, organic food also became more expensive in some cases. However, significantly less than conventional food. The AMI Consumer Price Index shows a price increase of 6.6% for organic fresh products, while for conventional products it is almost twice as high at 12.1%.

The global organic market continues to grow but at a slower pace

In 2021, the organic market reached almost 125 billion euros - an increase of almost 4 billion euros. With 48.6 billion euros, the United States was the world's leading market in 2021, followed by Germany (15.9 billion euros) and France (12.7 billion euros). Swiss consumers spent the most on organic food (on average 425 euros per capita), and Denmark continued to have the highest organic market share with 13 per cent of the total food market.

FiBL and IFOAM presented the global organic sales in 2021

3.7 million organic producers worldwide

In 2021, 3.7 million organic producers were reported, an increase of 4.9% compared to 2020. India was again the country with the most organic producers* in 2021 (1.6 million farms). At the end of 2021, slightly more than 76.4 million hectares were managed organically, an increase of 1.7% or 1.3 million hectares compared to 2020. Australia had the largest organic area (35.7 million hectares), followed by Argentina (4.1 million hectares) and France (2.8 million hectares). In Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, the organic area increased, while it decreased slightly in Latin and North America. Almost half of the organic area was in Oceania (35.9 million hectares). This was followed by Europe with 17.8 million hectares and Latin America with 9.9 million hectares.

Highly international range and global trends

2,765 exhibitors - 222 of them at VIVANESS - from 95 countries, presented their diverse product range in the exhibition halls and on the digital event platform. High-quality raw materials, processed to preserve value, innovative product ideas from pioneers and professionals alongside young start-ups reflected the trends:

"New Glocal" - a re-regionalisation and reorganisation of the globalised food system as well as a focus on local ingredients and short supply chains.

"Vegan meets Tradition" - classic dishes are imitated animal-free and reinterpreted.

"Less is More"- reduction from cultivation, climate-friendly in circular economy, to resource-saving processing and packaging.

"New Sweeteners" new, unrefined, mineral-rich sweeteners from plants and fruits provide valuable, healthier sweetness.

by Karin Heinze, BiO Reporter International

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