Retail chains advertise with organic association logo

Cooperation of trade and cultivation associations

Certified products of German organic farming associations are increasingly being found in conventional food retailing (LEH). In 2018, Lidl has decided to cooperate with Bioland - just like Kaufland and real with Demeter to promote the label of the cultivation association. The trading landscape is changing rapidly. This means greater marketing opportunities for the producing companies and processing companies of the relevant associations, but makes it difficult to profile with the association logo for the organic food trade and health food stores.

In 2018, the LEH was the most important growth driver for the organic market. Discounters sold more organic food with the expansion of the range and thus achieved higher organic sales. Since the end of 2018, products such as apples and herbs with the Bioland trademark and Lidl private label "BioOrganic" are offered in all German Lidl branches. Bioland-certified milk and dairy products will follow in early 2019.

This cooperation was preceded by more than 18 months of talks, as reported by both Lidl and Bioland. Bioland has established "fair play rules" as a safeguard for producers, manufacturers and suppliers. These rules are to apply in the future for all contractual partners of Bioland. Violations should be reported through an ombudsman. This also shows that cooperation within the association is viewed critically. After all, Germany's largest cultivation association is thus entering into a relationship of dependency with an international food company.

With the involvement of the specialist retailer Bauckhof near Edeka Südwest, the Demeter competence of Edeka is increasing. Kaufland is also talking to Demeter manufacturers. At real and Hit extensive assortments of the Demeter brand Campo Verde are listed.

Organic assortment grows in the discounters
Until now, organic products in the discounters have usually only been labeled with the EU organic logo. Often, however, was behind it already dressing products, but was not explicitly identified. So the cultivation associations did not want to make common cause with the discounters so far. In addition, the raw materials of an association were not always sufficiently available. Until now, goods labeled with the association logo were rather a unique selling point of the organic food trade and the "other shopping centers" (bakeries, butchers, farm shops and mail-order companies).

The number of organic products sold differs significantly from full-range and discount stores. While the discounters usually place between 60 and 170 organic items on their shelves, the full-line stores and also the stores have listed 360 to 500 organic products.

How does the organic food trade position itself?
The organic market in Germany has grown considerably in recent years thanks to conventional food retailing. Also in 2017, the significant growth came from the discounters and full-range providers. The natural food trade has been in a phase of upheaval for years. In the year 2017 sales of the natural food trade grew only weakly, whereby since the end of 2017 the growth picked up again. The organic food trade generated around 29 percent of organic sales in 2017, according to the Working Group Organic Market. A wholly relevant segment of consumers seems to trust biospecialists more than their competitors, which only market organic foods as one of many.

Naturopathic trade usually offers a variety of products that includes well over 1,000 items. In addition to the profiling with a large selection of products and the well-trained sales staff, the natural food trade also scores with a utopia, according to Elke Röder. The managing director of the Federal Association of Natural Foods Natural Products (BNN) commented on the cooperation between Bioland and Lidl in a guest commentary at According to this, customers want to use their purchasing to promote value chains, some of which were set up decades ago, in order to achieve social, environmental and nature conservation goals. According to Röder, the organic retail trade will work even harder in the future to fulfill this utopia - with all farmers and manufacturers who commit themselves to the same goal.

The organic retail trade is now required to work even more intensively on the range of products and the quality of the goods. to retain existing customers and attract new customers from conventional commerce.

Source: Ökolandbau

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