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Organic turnover rises to over 1.1 billion Euro in the Netherlands

The Dutch consumer bought 1.13 billion Euro worth of organic food in 2014, at the supermarket, specialty store and outdoors. This is a growth of six percent compared to 2013. The attention for sustainable food increased even more in 2014. The organic brand is the largest sustainable brand: 35 percent of all products labelled with a sustainable brand are organic. This was reported by the Monitor Duurzaam Voedsel 2014 which was set up by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The organic brand is the only public sustainable brand for agriculture and food production with a legal basis.
The growth in supermarkets mainly occurred during the second part of the year. Director Bavo van den Idsert of Bionext: "The assortment of organic in the various supermarkets has been growing since summer 2014. Albert Heijn did it with fluorescent shelf cards. This made is easier for customers to find these products and increased the turnover."

In 2015 Albert Heijn and Jumbo further increased their input in organic due to the introduction of their own organic own brands. Bionext expects the organic turnover in the supermarkets to grow strongly in 2015. Soon Bionext will announce the turnover figures in the first half of 2015.

Organic specialty stores
The growth of the supply of organics in the large supermarkets leads to a sharper positioning of the organic specialty stores/ Van den Idsert: "That trend will continue in 2015. The specialty stores respond to this by offering added value. Formulas position themselves as 100% organic supermarkets, the customer as a shareholder or they opt for extra attention and advice for customers with diet desires."

Outside domestic market
Van den Idsert: "Restaurants and caterers are slowly starting to discover the market for organic. Wholesalers can play into this much better/ The EKO-Brand Horeca is taking over the market step by step. Consumers can visit a restaurant with an organic supply simply and reliably."

Growth in demand larger than growth in supply
"The Netherlands connects to a global trend of growth in organics in retail," says Van den Idsert. "The growth in Scandinavia even exploded: in 2014 Sweden grew by 38%, in Norway the growth in the retail was 28 percent. In the US the growth has been above 10% for a number of year and the turnover is now 30 billion Euro." In the Dutch retail organic has a market share of around 4 percent in the retail channel.

The demand worldwide is growing faster than the supply of organic products. Due to the strongly rising demand for organic both domestically and abroad, there is a great need for farmers who want to switch to organic. This goes for cattle and hog farmers, agricultural farmers, field vegetable growers and horticulturists. The prices for organic raw materials are expected to remain good even with a larger organic supply. 
New organic farmers and growers wanted
More and more growers are thankfully orientating towards making the switch to organic. According to Skal Biocontrole the number of applications is growing considerably. Switching isn't easy: a farmer has to work organically for two years, before the products can be marketed as organic. The strongly increasing ground prices are a problem for switchers, who need more ground to improve the well being of their animals. Bionext is therefore calling for Secretary of State Dijksma to stimulate the switch to organic with focused measures in the sectors where the consumer demand is the largest.

Source: Skal Biocontrole – Oversight of development of registered companies as of January 1.
The Monitor Duurzaam Voedsel 2014 is a handout by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. It can be found here (Language selection can be found at the top right hand corner.)

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