If we eat more organic, farmers will grow it for us!

If we eat more organic, farmers will grow it for us!

Sustainability, zero waste, biodegradable packaging, organic solutions and discoveries about hemp – these are the main subjects of BIOFACH & VIVANESS 2020 in Nuremberg.  3 792 exhibitors from 110 countries on 57 609 m2 show area and 826 announced new products, 629 at BIOFACH and 197 at VIVANESS. And you haven’t been there yet?

Author: Żaneta Geltz

Dr Jane Goodall, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, primate researcher and UN Messenger of Peace has opened the biggest industry gathering for international organic sector – ecological food and cosmetics on February 12th, 2020 in Nuremberg. The speech showed dr Jane Goodall is profoundly an inspiring woman who stands up for endangered species like nobody else. She underlined the role of everyday consumption by all of us: reducing food waste, choosing organic food and skin care, choosing ethical products and refusing brands based on pesticides and herbicides, seriously devastating our natural environment.

Auftaktpressekonferenz BIOFACH und VIVANESS - Dr. Jane Goodall

It is probably most important that everyone understands that each one of us makes an impact every day – and those of us lucky enough not to be living in poverty have a choice. We can ask, when we buy something, if its production harmed the environment, involved cruelty to animals, or child slave labour. We must alleviate poverty, for if you are really poor you cut down the last tree, fish the last fish – because you HAVE to, in order to survive. And we must each try to live more sustainably, leave as small an environmental footprint as we can. And we must face up to human population growth and try to help people choose to have small families. Before it is too late.” – says Dr Jane Goodall.

See the part of the speech here: Dr Jane Goodall speech at the opening of BIOFACH&VIVANESS

The Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots movement for young people of all ages, preschool through university, is present in 60 countries – of course including Germany. Very many of the perhaps 150,000 groups are choosing to grow organic vegetables in their school gardens, to create butterfly gardens. Around the world, Roots & Shoots members are planting trees, leading public awareness campaigns, saving abandoned animals, helping the homeless, reducing their communities' waste, protecting clean water and promoting biodiversity, among many other admirable goals. They are making a world of difference, one community project at a time. For more information, please visit www.rootsandshoots.org.

BIOFACH & VIVANESS 2020 in figures

The combined trade fair of BIOFACH, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, and VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural and Organic Personal Care, has been more international and diverse than ever before and opened its doors at Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 12 – 15 February, 2020. Both shows have set new records for exhibitor numbers, display area and international focus. A total of 3,792 exhibitors – 292 of them at VIVANESS – from 110 countries had presented their products to the trade public on a display area measuring 57,609 m2. BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2020 offered over 50,000 visitors in two additional halls.

And the key trends at BIOFACH this year were:

- “Packaging”
- “Vegan 2.0”
- “Open Pollinated Varieties”
- “Region 2.0”

While VIVANESS was highlighting:
- “Zero Waste bathroom”
- “All about hemp”
- “Dental Care”
- “Packaging”

Petra Wolf, Member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse, said:
With BIOFACH and VIVANESS you get two trade fairs, one date, one venue, four days and a comprehensive overview of the worldwide organic food and natural and organic cosmetic sectors along the entire supply chain. In 2020, the combined trade fair was more diverse than ever and emphatically reinforced its role as the international gathering for the sector. With its excellent supporting programme and “Organic delivers!” as the congress theme, this was the starting point from where the future is being shaped by the sector.”

Congress theme and new special show about water

The BIOFACH and VIVANESS Congress became a knowledge and information platform with a solid foundation of expertise - attracted over 8,000 participants to 149 individual presentations. Under the “Organic delivers!” heading, this year’s congress was highlighting the positive effect of the sector’s organic approach. It protects our water, improves soil fertility and strengthens biodiversity. It also protects the climate, is healthy as part of a holistic approach and safeguards the foundations of life. Organic agriculture, food production and trade benefit the common good around the world.

The Experience the World of OLIVE OIL, WINE and VEGAN were part of the thematic focus area “Experience & Discover”. Product presentations, tastings and accompanying events for trade visitors have been a long-standing part of the program there.

VIVANESS 2020: the sector gathering for natural and organic cosmetics

At VIVANESS 2020, natural and organic cosmetics took centre-stage, with the move to the new Hall 3C providing the perfect platform. In this hall, which has won awards for its sustainability, VIVANESS 2020 had even more room to impress than before, as a record-breaking 292 exhibitors from 42 countries present their innovations and product improvements to visitors. Alongside the diverse product show with its rigorous acceptance criteria, VIVANESS offered other impressive highlights like the VIVANESS Congress, VIVANESS Novelty Stand with 197 new products, Pavilion for Innovative Young Companies with 10 exhibitors and the special show Breeze with 30 international start-ups, newcomers and niche brands from 11 countries, more than ever before. Another highlight was the special display area “Let‘s talk VIVANESS”, which offered the ideal venue for getting and sharing information, dialogue and networking.

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Zero waste bathroom

Deliberately avoiding waste in the bathroom seems to be a trend that extends across all product groups. New and innovative products are reducing transport weight. Water-free solid cosmetics like hair soap and solid care bars look like new category leaders.

Premiere of the book „The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2020

The international patron of BIOFACH is IFOAM – Organics International and national supporting organization - the German Federation of Organic Food Producers (BÖLW).

These two institutions underlined a growing trend for organic products all over the world, however with considerable differences, shown per country. However, the speakers warned the audience that the conventional product producers try to make their products “a bit greener”, but still based on mineral oils, so consumers should be educated in a solid way to differentiate the real organic from green washing. The message was clear: organic cosmetics are based only on natural substances and the raw materials are mostly ecologically certified.

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL IFOAM – Organics International presented a debuting book „The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2020” edited by Helga Willer, Bernhard Schlatter, Jan Trávníek, Laura Kemper and Julia Lernoud

[find more about the book here: www.organic-world.net/yearbook/yearbook-2020.html]

300 pages of an extremely inspiring and promising data every manufacturer, not only organic, should definitely learn! The comprehensive data provided over the past two decades in this publication serve as an important tool for stakeholders, policymakers, authorities, and the industry, as well as for researchers and extension professionals. The book also demonstrates the contribution of organic agriculture to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Given that organic agriculture touches on almost all of the goals, this book not only shows the land area, number of producers, and market figures; it also highlights the contribution of organic agriculture to tackling climate change, ensuring food and nutrition security, halting biodiversity loss, and promoting sustainable consumption, to name a few. Overall, “The World of Organic Agriculture” shows the potential organic farming has to contribute to a sustainable future! Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Coop Sustainability Fund and NürnbergMesse supported this publication.

We will learn from the book - among many others - about:

  • The Global Market for Organic Food & Drink
  • Demeter International – Current Statistics
  • Worldwide Organic Outlook
  • Key Indicators by Country and Region and much more

Infographic 1.
 1. Where the designation "country" appears in this book, it covers countries and territories, see UNSTAT website http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm.
 2. Please note that there are some differences in organic food sales figures from Ecovia Intelligence and those from FiBL due to different methodologies. According to Ecovia Intelligence, global retail sales reached over 105 billion US dollars in 2018. One euro corresponded to 1.1810 US dollars in 2018 according to the European Central Bank.

More than 71.5 million hectares of organic farmland
In 2018, 71.5 million hectares of organic agricultural land, including in-conversion areas, were recorded. The regions with the largest areas of organic agricultural land are Oceania (36 million hectares, which is half the world’s organic agricultural land) and Europe (15.6 million hectares, 22 percent). Latin America has 8 million hectares (11 percent) followed by Asia (6.5 million hectares, 9 percent), North America (3.3 million hectares, 5 percent), and Africa (2 million hectares, 3 percent).

Australia has the largest area
The countries with the most organic agricultural land are Australia (35.7 million hectares), Argentina (3.6 million hectares), and China (3.1 million hectares).

Globally, 1.5 percent of the farmland is organic
Currently, 1.5 percent of the world’s agricultural land is organic. The highest organic shares of the total agricultural land, by region, are in Oceania (8.6 percent) and Europe (3.1 percent; European Union 7.7 percent).

Liechtenstein has the highest organic share with 38.5 percent
Some countries reach far higher shares than the global share: Liechtenstein (38.5 percent) and Samoa (34.5 percent) have the highest organic shares. In sixteen countries, 10 percent or more of the agricultural land is organic.

Growth in organic farmland
Organic farmland increased by 2.02 million hectares or 2.9 percent in 2018. Many countries reported a significant increase, for instance France (16.7 percent increase; over 0.27 million hectares more) and Uruguay (14.1 percent increase; almost 0.24 million hectares more).

Detailed information on organic cotton was provided by Textile Exchange, who states that 2017/18 was a year to celebrate in the organic cotton sector. Not only did global production of organic cotton see an impressive 56 percent growth; it also represented the highest volume seen since 2010/11 with a global total of 180’871 metric tons in 2017/18. The growth stemmed predominantly from India, China and Kyrgyzstan, but also from Turkey, Tanzania, and Tajikistan.

The footprint of Copenhagen house of food

One of the most interesting elements of the press area cases presented during BIOFACH & VIVANESS was a short session called “The footprint of Copenhagen house of food”, where speakers invited were sharing their innovative approach to organic gastronomy:
- professor dr. Carsten Daugbjerg, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen
- dr. Jochen Neuendorff, CEO, GfRS Gesellschaft fur Ressourcenschutz mbH
- Kenneth Hojgaard, Development manager, Copenhagen Hospitality College
- Sarah Fuglsig, Senior Consultant, Danish Agriculture & Food Council

Kenneth Hojgaard presented a case of introducing organic food into gastronomy of eldery houses in Denmark and how difficult it was at the beginning, and how it has developed at a later stage. Now, 5-weeks courses are being organized as more and more places want to gain an organic labelling for the gastronomy.

A short fragment of that session is available here:
https://youtu.be/1SE14Xqi-Pg

“What’s your eco? – What’s your contribution to a sustainable future?”

An engagement campaign with the title: “What’s your eco? – What’s your contribution to a sustainable future?” had been designed to tell the success stories of personalities from the organic sector and help encourage dialogue with one another. The intention behind the campaign is clear: to encourage sound professional dialogue and networking in the context of the topics that are currently driving the industry. To help reach and connect even more people, the combined trade fair is launching a sophisticated engagement campaign this year.
The centrepiece of the campaign is an interactive landing page: see more here>>

It will initially be used to collect statements as a basis for dynamic growth in a second stage, above all in social media. “Our aim is to engender a vibrant network where ideas big and small, projects and innovations from the sector can be shared and promoted. We have come up with something special as a little incentive to take part: once we reach 150 participants we will plant one tree for each of them to hopefully create a little wood,” - says Danila Brunner, Director of BIOFACH and VIVANESS.

The campaign was launched with success stories from select “ambassadors” who can function as multipliers. Even in the run-up to the fair, their contributions will draw attention to the campaign, as these are people with sound knowledge of the industry who already have extensive networks. “In this way we can make lots of people aware of a more conscious lifestyle and then also immediately offer them new opportunities for sustainable alternatives.” - Brunner concludes.

Our magazine has also shared an idea of an Organic Life platform, which you can check here:
https://whatsyoureco.biofach.de/de/eco/organic-life-e-platform-for-eco-manufacturers-and-consumers
For other ideas, have a look here: https://whatsyoureco.biofach.de/de

Caring politicians

It is worth to mention that the opening ceremony of the show was proceeded not only by the famous dr. Jane Goodall, which electrified all the participants, but also two local politics:
- Julia Klöckner - Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany
- Dr. Ulrich Maly, Lord Mayor of the city of Nuremberg

Julia Klöckner was welcoming all the activists who push the organic frontier and had been an avangard in their countries. She mentioned that the future has arrived and the organic food had been finally, rightly appreciated. She shared her opinion that it is unacceptable that funds are being allocated to keep the low price of meat or of conventional food, which means no respect for the farmers and the animals, which lose their lives for us.

Organic products make a huge contribution to ecology, economics and sustainability. Organic farms should be rewarded to draw attention, to inspire other farmers to become more sustainable, like Scandinavian friends do. We can’t afford dropping trends. Whole Europe should take care about organics, protect water areas, coastlines, help farmers to be successful, we should have objectives based on science. Denmark and Germany agreed to stop extension of glyphosate usage and develop strategies into sustainability, involve more politics. Federations should pay for organic transitions and already millions of EURO have been paid – 30 millions for research only! We need to develop whole communities, all public institutions are invited to apply organic food, cafeterias, it turns not so difficult, when it’s done.” – says Julia Klöckner - Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany

Dr. Ulrich Maly mentioned about the regional campaign in Bavaria “ORGANIC, PLEASE” aiming at 100% food for children in kindergartens should be organic. He talked about the need to raise the society awareness through media. Lord Mayor ensured Bavaria is supporting #FridaysForFuture campaigners, and he confessed the farmers do not feel treated well by the society. He mentioned about glyphosate, dropping bee populations, and that the public debate needs to be started, including also the subject of climate change. His worries went to the news, which are changing people’s moods and influence the demand, and that we should be careful about our changing moods and consumption, and definitely we should not eat avocado, as it costs too much money to get it delivered to Europe.

Voices of reason

All the speakers at the opening ceremony mentioned three important issues, which are animal wellbeing, glyphosate and the climate change. Having in mind Austria, the country with the biggest ambition to be the first organic country in Europe, remembering Thailand, which declared in October 20191 to become “the kitchen of the world” - despite the protests from farmers in a multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry trying to defend not only glyphosate, but two other pesticides – we can truly hope that we are witnessing the major change in ethics of the world.

We can no longer continue like before, otherwise we reach an end, as dr. Jane Goodall said in her opening talk.

You haven’t been there at BIOFACH & VIVANESS yet? Book the date in 2021 already now, as it is clear, you need to be here: www.biofach.de.

1Thailand to ban glyphosate and other high-profile pesticides, Bangkok (AFP) Issued on: 22/10/2019 www.france24.com/en/20191022-thailand-to-ban-glyphosate-and-other-high-profile-pesticides;

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