The BioFach is the world's leading trade fair for organic food - from 14 to 17 February at the convention centre in Nuremberg. According to the Landvolk Press Service, it presents the trends of today and focuses on the future with an emphasis on "Next Generation Bio".
Nearly 3,000 exhibitors are showing off the worldwide biodiversity; the organizers expect more than 50,000 visitors. Niedersachsen is well represented with 69 exhibitors, 16 of which are participating as an exhibitor community under the direction of the marketing association of the Lower Saxony agriculture and food industry.
The Competence Center Organic Farming Niedersachsen (KÖN), the point of contact for budding as well as organic farmers, is there with organic vegetables and potatoes. In addition, it presents three current projects focusing on marketing. This includes the EU school program: in Lower Saxony, 70 percent of schools have opted for organic fruit and vegetables. Through a round table discussion on organic vegetables, the KÖN intends to create a network of industry experts, meanwhile dealing with current topics such as doing away with packaging and "non-hybrid varieties". And finally, the competence center has brought together customers looking to buy organic raw materials that will buy complete yields from farmers, thus facilitating the transition from conventional to organic farming.
The BioFach in Nuremberg wants to bring people together to find and develop markets, discuss trends and developments and deal with future activities. These focal points are also of interest to the organic farming committee in the rural state of Lower Saxony, which will also be using BioFach for further discussions. In Lower Saxony, 2,837 organic farms currently operate on the basis of the criteria of organic farming, cultivating an area of 96,673 ha. Nationwide - according to data from the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food- organic farming has quadrupled over 20 years.
The cultivated area increased from 354,171 hectares in the year 1996 to 1,251,320 hectares in 2016. Only 7,353 farms were responsible for this in 1996. Twenty years later, this number was 27,132. Traditionally, organic farming is most strongly represented in southern Germany. Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg are topping the list, both in acreage and in the number of farms. There are 285,243 ha and 12,061 farms in Bavaria as well as 151,111 ha and 10,003 farms in Baden-Württemberg. If we look at acreage, Brandenburg with 145.812 ha and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 132.203 ha are the runners up. However, there are significantly fewer farms in these states: 1.153 in Brandenburg and 1.098 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.