The 6th international congress on organic demand, sustainability and innovation was hosted by Eurofresh Distribution and IFEMA during Fruit Attraction on October 3rd, 2023. The event featured the participation of global experts and industry leaders, including Michael Curran, FiBL, Miriam van der Waal, consultant at A-Insights, Sophie Pagnon, Ecoveritas head of marketing and Steffen Reese, Naturland CEO. They shared their views on the recovering market, strategies to stimulate demand and the broader holistic role of the organic sector.

FiBL's Michael Curran confirmed the rebounding demand for organics since the second semester of 2023 in many countries, as inflation stabilises. Retail sales of organics have increased sevenfold over the last 20 years to reach €125 billion in 2021. China is now the third largest consumer with a 9% share of the global market, behind Europe (EU27 + Switzerland) 40% and the US 39%.

Miriam van der Waal, A-Insights says over 2012-21, sales of fresh organic produce grew rapidly, between 7-13% annually. But, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent inflation have seen the average EBIT margins of organic companies shrink from 2.7% in 2020, vs 1.4% for the conventional segment to 1.7% in 2021 and 0.1% in 2022, while the conventional sector has seen its level stabilise at 1.9%.

Sophie Pagnon from Veritas shared the firm's holistic approach based on its “Tu Mejor Version” concept applied internally and externally to help boost the category. This approach has been the key to the success of Spain's only organic supermarket chain.

Steffen Reese Naturland CEO: “We will eat organic or we won’t eat at all.” Up to 2022, it is estimated that climate change caused €251 billion worth of damage. Organic sales in Germany dipped slightly with -0.35% to €15.31 billion, after doubling over the previous seven years. Supermarkets account for 66.7% of organic sales, specialised stores for 20.5%, and e-commerce 12.8%.

Cecilio Peregrin, Proexport's chairman of Murcia’s lettuce committee said a 20% reduction in the use of fertilisers was achieved over 2019-22, while carbon emissions were reduced by 63% in just three years, with the use of 100% green energy from renewable sources.

The WWF Spain agriculture coordinator Felipe Fuentelsaz presented the free online tool “WWF Water Risk Filter” to help companies and investors prioritise actions relating to water management.

Nolan Quiros, senior technical expert for GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP, highlighted the latest progress with the GLOBALG.AP. Flagship standard Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) version 6 for fruit and vegetables as well as the voluntary add-ons SPRING and GRASP. “These add-ons not only help to ensure sustainable farm practices, responsible water and labour management, they also help improving communication and information in the supply-chain.”

For more information:
M. Belén Barbini
Tel: +34 615051357