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Organic Food Booming in China

Saturday 9th October, 2004

Organic food booming in China

Big News Network.com (Australia) 7th October, 2004

A northwest Chinese official says the green food industry had entered a new
stage of development in the country, the official Xinhua news agency
reports.

Ma Aiguo, director of the China Green Food Development Center, said
Thursday organic food output has been increasing nearly 30 percent annually
while exports have grown by 50 percent in recent years.

At a round-table meeting on the fruit industry held in Xi'an, capital of
Shaanxi province, Ma noted the government had established a national network
to enforce laws monitoring production, processing, quality, storage and
transportation of produce carrying a green label.

The concept of organic food was introduced to China 14 years ago. It is
defined as non-polluting, safe, high-quality and nutritious. Xinhua did not
mention whether pesticides are used.

More than 2,000 companies are involved in green food production across
China. Domestic sales reached $8.8 billion and exports topped $1 billion in
2003, Xinhua said.
__________________________________________________________________________

BioFach 2005: Attractive growth forecasts for the organic market in the new
EU accession countries

It's time again from 24-27 February, when some 1,900 exhibitors present the
global range of organic products to 30,000 expected experts at BioFach 2005
in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. The product segment of wine, sparkling
wine and champagne has expanded strongly and will fill a separate hall for
the first time. Tasting and talking shop is naturally on the agenda in the
wine hall - both are possible in the new Wine Forum. This time the focus is
on Brazil as Country of the Year. Brazilian exhibitors will bring products
such as coffee, cocoa, soya beans, sugar, orange juice, honey, dried fruit,
nuts and tropical fruit to Nürnberg. The organic area in Brazil has grown
considerably in the past years and some 6,500 organic producers now farm
130,000 hectares. Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues recently announced
that the organic share of the total farming area is to be increased to 10 %
within five years.

Experts expect good development opportunities for the organic industry for
the ten new members of the European Union, although these are rated very
differently according to country. Elisabeth Avakian-Reuter of the Equalita
Institut in Cologne has co-ordinated vocational training for organic food
stores in Eastern Europe for years. She sees a growing set-up of structures
in the organic sector especially in the Czech Republic, Hungary and
Slovenia. "The political support for setting up independent marketing
facilities is good, particularly in the Czech Republic." One of the main
factors is the stability created by long-term support from politics.

Organic is still a delicate seedling in the accession countries

Whereas high duties on imported goods made it distinctly difficult to
supplement the previously rather small local organic range, there are now no
more barriers to improving the range with organic products from abroad. The
German organic wholesale food trade and the manufacturers are, however, only
now beginning to slowly grasp the co-operation possibilities and export
opportunities that are opening up on their doorstep.

The consumers are profiting step by step from a growing range of products in
the shops, but money is tight in the countries of Central & Eastern Europe.
Whereas food prices are often only slightly below those in Germany, incomes
are appreciably lower and thus limit the spending power of the population.

The development of organic agriculture and marketing has proceeded very
differently in the past ten years. It is important not to just boost
agricultural production in the organic sector, but to organize marketing to
the same extent via organic shops, weekly markets, farm shops and the large
supermarkets and department stores.

Whereas the conventional food retail trade is already firmly in the hands of
the West European concerns, the organic branch is still being developed. The
biggest potential sales market is Poland with 39 million inhabitants,
followed by the Czech Republic and Hungary with some 10 million each. The
economic growth is between 6.1 % in Latvia and 1.3 % in Poland. The
accession causes changes in a variety of regulations on free trade, food
hygiene, freedom of settlement and free movement of labour. The EU Common
Agricultural Policy now also applies to all countries.

Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary: The local organic market is growing

Poland with 61,236 ha of farmland used for organic agriculture, which was
farmed by 2,278 organic units in 2003, has an organic share of only 0.4 % of
total agriculture. A rather large 54 % share of this is, however, arable
land, which enables production of a variety of different produce like corn,
vegetables and potatoes. A number of organic farming associations are active
in Poland, the best known is Ekoland. In Poland, the largest of the new
member states, small, specialized shops selling wholesome foods have been
opened for more than a decade. Whereas some of these around 200 shops have a
rather low share of organic products, others offer an organic share of some
80 %. The degree of professionalization of the specialized shops differs
widely. Some still cultivate the charm of the early days, others convey a
very modern natural ambience.

The neighbouring Czech Republic had just under 6 % or 255,000 ha of organic
land farmed by only 650 organic units in 2003, but over 90 % of the organic
farming area is grassland. The cows and cattle kept on these grassland areas
produce milk and meat, which has been mainly sold via the conventional
market until now. A separate marketing system is still to be set up. The
Czech farming association Pro-Bio has rendered outstanding services in
establishing organic agriculture and marketing. There are about 100 health
food stores in the Czech Republic and a total of some 400 shops of all kinds
are supplied by the largest organic food and health food wholesaler. Half a
dozen modern specialist shops with a broad range of organic foods already
exist in Prague. Several of these shops include a bistro or even proper
restaurants for giving the organic food a "practical test".

Budapest also has a handful of organic food and health food stores, some of
which have been opened in recent years. In Hungary, over 100,000 ha are
farmed organically by 1,100 units, which equates to a share of 1.7 % (2002).
This means a certain spectrum of local products is available. The products
include vegetables, herbs, spices, oilseeds, goose and specialities like
processed products of Mangalitza pork. This special woolly-haired breed of
grazing pigs was previously bred in Hungary and is particularly robust. The
best-known organic association is Biokultura, which was founded in 1983,
long before the political revolution.

Slovakia and Slovenia midfield in Europe

The neighbouring Slovak Republic has only half as many inhabitants as the
Czech Republic. 50,000 ha (2002) or 2.2 % of the farming area is farmed
organically by only 84 mainly very large units. They produce wine, fruit,
corn, peas, peppers, apples and carrots. The organic farming associations
are Ekotrend, Naturalis and Ekovita.

The structure in Slovenia is distinctly smaller: Here 1,150 organic farmers
produce wine, fruit juices, oils and cheese on an area of 15,000 ha. The
organic share of the total area is already 3.4 % (2002). Organic farmers are
members of the Union of Slovenian Organic Farmers Association.

Organic still in its infancy on the islands of Malta and Cyprus

Malta with 385,000 inhabitants is the most southerly and smallest EU
accession country. It lies just under 100 km south of Sicily and only 290 km
from Africa. Malta has five organic food shops and only seven organic
farmers. The farming association for Malta is the Malta Organic Agriculture
Movement (MOAM). There is, however, a long way to go to a functioning
organic marketing system: Only 5 % of the products sold in the shops are
from organic cultivation, according to insider estimates. Fresh organic
produce like fruit, vegetables and dairy products are not even stocked in
Malta's shops. The farmers must therefore sell their produce, mainly
potatoes and vegetables, direct (and partly not declared as organic) at
conventional prices.

In Cyprus, where organic development started with two farmers in 1988, there
are already 45 farms with 166 ha of land. The Cyprus Organic Producers
Association was founded in 2000. The farmers produce wine, olive oil, corn,
dairy products, meat and vegetables.

Baltic States: Estonia leads the field

The Baltic States with their 7 million inhabitants are also backing organic.
Organic farming has developed most in Estonia, the Baltic State with the
smallest population (1.4 million). A noteworthy 3 % or 30,000 ha of the area
farmed has been converted to organic. Most of the 583 organic farms are
members of the two associations, the Estonian Bio-Dynamic Association and
the Estonian Organic Producers Union. An organic law was passed in Estonia
in 1998 that provided for an organic logo "Mahemärk" for labelling products.
The intensive co-operation between German and Scandinavian organic
organizations and partners in Estonia at the beginning of the nineties made
it possible for Estonia to set up its own bio-dynamic farming association in
a short space of time. Apart from meat, corn, buckwheat and vegetables, milk
and honey are the main organically grown products of the Baltic States.

Lithuania currently only has 0.25 % of land used for organic farming, which
is worked by some 400 organic farmers. The associations Gaia and Ekoagros
are active in Lithuania. The aim of the Lithuanian government, which
meanwhile supports the conversion to organic agriculture, is an organic
share of 5 % of farming land by 2010. In Latvia, some 500 organic farmers,
mostly members of the Association of Latvian Organizations for Organic
Agriculture, farm 0.81 % of the land used for agricultural purposes.

The Ekoconnect association promotes East-West contacts in organic
agriculture

The German association Ekoconnect of Dresden, founded by committed private
persons from the organic industry, wants to create a forum for partnerships
between East and West and for getting to know each other. Under the
management of Bernd Jansen, many events have been organized since the
beginning of 2004, including events to establish contact between Polish,
Czech and German organic farmers. A network of activities is beginning to
develop that will contribute to a common positive trend at the interface
between old and new EU Member States. (www.ekoconnect.org)

10,000 experts already subscribe to their free BioFach Newsletter - what
about you? Just click: www.biofach.de <http://www.biofach.de/>


BioFach 2005: Attractive growth forecasts for the organic market in the new
EU accession countries

It's time again from 24-27 February, when some 1,900 exhibitors present the
global range of organic products to 30,000 expected experts at BioFach 2005
in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. The product segment of wine, sparkling
wine and champagne has expanded strongly and will fill a separate hall for
the first time. Tasting and talking shop is naturally on the agenda in the
wine hall - both are possible in the new Wine Forum. This time the focus is
on Brazil as Country of the Year. Brazilian exhibitors will bring products
such as coffee, cocoa, soya beans, sugar, orange juice, honey, dried fruit,
nuts and tropical fruit to Nürnberg. The organic area in Brazil has grown
considerably in the past years and some 6,500 organic producers now farm
130,000 hectares. Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues recently announced
that the organic share of the total farming area is to be increased to 10 %
within five years.

Experts expect good development opportunities for the organic industry for
the ten new members of the European Union, although these are rated very
differently according to country. Elisabeth Avakian-Reuter of the Equalita
Institut in Cologne has co-ordinated vocational training for organic food
stores in Eastern Europe for years. She sees a growing set-up of structures
in the organic sector especially in the Czech Republic, Hungary and
Slovenia. "The political support for setting up independent marketing
facilities is good, particularly in the Czech Republic." One of the main
factors is the stability created by long-term support from politics.

Organic is still a delicate seedling in the accession countries

Whereas high duties on imported goods made it distinctly difficult to
supplement the previously rather small local organic range, there are now no
more barriers to improving the range with organic products from abroad. The
German organic wholesale food trade and the manufacturers are, however, only
now beginning to slowly grasp the co-operation possibilities and export
opportunities that are opening up on their doorstep.

The consumers are profiting step by step from a growing range of products in
the shops, but money is tight in the countries of Central & Eastern Europe.
Whereas food prices are often only slightly below those in Germany, incomes
are appreciably lower and thus limit the spending power of the population.

The development of organic agriculture and marketing has proceeded very
differently in the past ten years. It is important not to just boost
agricultural production in the organic sector, but to organize marketing to
the same extent via organic shops, weekly markets, farm shops and the large
supermarkets and department stores.

Whereas the conventional food retail trade is already firmly in the hands of
the West European concerns, the organic branch is still being developed. The
biggest potential sales market is Poland with 39 million inhabitants,
followed by the Czech Republic and Hungary with some 10 million each. The
economic growth is between 6.1 % in Latvia and 1.3 % in Poland. The
accession causes changes in a variety of regulations on free trade, food
hygiene, freedom of settlement and free movement of labour. The EU Common
Agricultural Policy now also applies to all countries.

Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary: The local organic market is growing

Poland with 61,236 ha of farmland used for organic agriculture, which was
farmed by 2,278 organic units in 2003, has an organic share of only 0.4 % of
total agriculture. A rather large 54 % share of this is, however, arable
land, which enables production of a variety of different produce like corn,
vegetables and potatoes. A number of organic farming associations are active
in Poland, the best known is Ekoland. In Poland, the largest of the new
member states, small, specialized shops selling wholesome foods have been
opened for more than a decade. Whereas some of these around 200 shops have a
rather low share of organic products, others offer an organic share of some
80 %. The degree of professionalization of the specialized shops differs
widely. Some still cultivate the charm of the early days, others convey a
very modern natural ambience.

The neighbouring Czech Republic had just under 6 % or 255,000 ha of organic
land farmed by only 650 organic units in 2003, but over 90 % of the organic
farming area is grassland. The cows and cattle kept on these grassland areas
produce milk and meat, which has been mainly sold via the conventional
market until now. A separate marketing system is still to be set up. The
Czech farming association Pro-Bio has rendered outstanding services in
establishing organic agriculture and marketing. There are about 100 health
food stores in the Czech Republic and a total of some 400 shops of all kinds
are supplied by the largest organic food and health food wholesaler. Half a
dozen modern specialist shops with a broad range of organic foods already
exist in Prague. Several of these shops include a bistro or even proper
restaurants for giving the organic food a "practical test".

Budapest also has a handful of organic food and health food stores, some of
which have been opened in recent years. In Hungary, over 100,000 ha are
farmed organically by 1,100 units, which equates to a share of 1.7 % (2002).
This means a certain spectrum of local products is available. The products
include vegetables, herbs, spices, oilseeds, goose and specialities like
processed products of Mangalitza pork. This special woolly-haired breed of
grazing pigs was previously bred in Hungary and is particularly robust. The
best-known organic association is Biokultura, which was founded in 1983,
long before the political revolution.

Slovakia and Slovenia midfield in Europe

The neighbouring Slovak Republic has only half as many inhabitants as the
Czech Republic. 50,000 ha (2002) or 2.2 % of the farming area is farmed
organically by only 84 mainly very large units. They produce wine, fruit,
corn, peas, peppers, apples and carrots. The organic farming associations
are Ekotrend, Naturalis and Ekovita.

The structure in Slovenia is distinctly smaller: Here 1,150 organic farmers
produce wine, fruit juices, oils and cheese on an area of 15,000 ha. The
organic share of the total area is already 3.4 % (2002). Organic farmers are
members of the Union of Slovenian Organic Farmers Association.

Organic still in its infancy on the islands of Malta and Cyprus

Malta with 385,000 inhabitants is the most southerly and smallest EU
accession country. It lies just under 100 km south of Sicily and only 290 km
from Africa. Malta has five organic food shops and only seven organic
farmers. The farming association for Malta is the Malta Organic Agriculture
Movement (MOAM). There is, however, a long way to go to a functioning
organic marketing system: Only 5 % of the products sold in the shops are
from organic cultivation, according to insider estimates. Fresh organic
produce like fruit, vegetables and dairy products are not even stocked in
Malta's shops. The farmers must therefore sell their produce, mainly
potatoes and vegetables, direct (and partly not declared as organic) at
conventional prices.

In Cyprus, where organic development started with two farmers in 1988, there
are already 45 farms with 166 ha of land. The Cyprus Organic Producers
Association was founded in 2000. The farmers produce wine, olive oil, corn,
dairy products, meat and vegetables.

Baltic States: Estonia leads the field

The Baltic States with their 7 million inhabitants are also backing organic.
Organic farming has developed most in Estonia, the Baltic State with the
smallest population (1.4 million). A noteworthy 3 % or 30,000 ha of the area
farmed has been converted to organic. Most of the 583 organic farms are
members of the two associations, the Estonian Bio-Dynamic Association and
the Estonian Organic Producers Union. An organic law was passed in Estonia
in 1998 that provided for an organic logo "Mahemärk" for labelling products.
The intensive co-operation between German and Scandinavian organic
organizations and partners in Estonia at the beginning of the nineties made
it possible for Estonia to set up its own bio-dynamic farming association in
a short space of time. Apart from meat, corn, buckwheat and vegetables, milk
and honey are the main organically grown products of the Baltic States.

Lithuania currently only has 0.25 % of land used for organic farming, which
is worked by some 400 organic farmers. The associations Gaia and Ekoagros
are active in Lithuania. The aim of the Lithuanian government, which
meanwhile supports the conversion to organic agriculture, is an organic
share of 5 % of farming land by 2010. In Latvia, some 500 organic farmers,
mostly members of the Association of Latvian Organizations for Organic
Agriculture, farm 0.81 % of the land used for agricultural purposes.

The Ekoconnect association promotes East-West contacts in organic
agriculture

The German association Ekoconnect of Dresden, founded by committed private
persons from the organic industry, wants to create a forum for partnerships
between East and West and for getting to know each other. Under the
management of Bernd Jansen, many events have been organized since the
beginning of 2004, including events to establish contact between Polish,
Czech and German organic farmers. A network of activities is beginning to
develop that will contribute to a common positive trend at the interface
between old and new EU Member States. (www.ekoconnect.org)

10,000 experts already subscribe to their free BioFach Newsletter - what
about you? Just click: www.biofach.de <http://www.biofach.de/>

BioFach 2005: Attractive growth forecasts for the organic market in the new
EU accession countries

It's time again from 24-27 February, when some 1,900 exhibitors present the
global range of organic products to 30,000 expected experts at BioFach 2005
in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. The product segment of wine, sparkling
wine and champagne has expanded strongly and will fill a separate hall for
the first time. Tasting and talking shop is naturally on the agenda in the
wine hall - both are possible in the new Wine Forum. This time the focus is
on Brazil as Country of the Year. Brazilian exhibitors will bring products
such as coffee, cocoa, soya beans, sugar, orange juice, honey, dried fruit,
nuts and tropical fruit to Nürnberg. The organic area in Brazil has grown
considerably in the past years and some 6,500 organic producers now farm
130,000 hectares. Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues recently announced
that the organic share of the total farming area is to be increased to 10 %
within five years.

Experts expect good development opportunities for the organic industry for
the ten new members of the European Union, although these are rated very
differently according to country. Elisabeth Avakian-Reuter of the Equalita
Institut in Cologne has co-ordinated vocational training for organic food
stores in Eastern Europe for years. She sees a growing set-up of structures
in the organic sector especially in the Czech Republic, Hungary and
Slovenia. "The political support for setting up independent marketing
facilities is good, particularly in the Czech Republic." One of the main
factors is the stability created by long-term support from politics.

Organic is still a delicate seedling in the accession countries

Whereas high duties on imported goods made it distinctly difficult to
supplement the previously rather small local organic range, there are now no
more barriers to improving the range with organic products from abroad. The
German organic wholesale food trade and the manufacturers are, however, only
now beginning to slowly grasp the co-operation possibilities and export
opportunities that are opening up on their doorstep.

The consumers are profiting step by step from a growing range of products in
the shops, but money is tight in the countries of Central & Eastern Europe.
Whereas food prices are often only slightly below those in Germany, incomes
are appreciably lower and thus limit the spending power of the population.

The development of organic agriculture and marketing has proceeded very
differently in the past ten years. It is important not to just boost
agricultural production in the organic sector, but to organize marketing to
the same extent via organic shops, weekly markets, farm shops and the large
supermarkets and department stores.

Whereas the conventional food retail trade is already firmly in the hands of
the West European concerns, the organic branch is still being developed. The
biggest potential sales market is Poland with 39 million inhabitants,
followed by the Czech Republic and Hungary with some 10 million each. The
economic growth is between 6.1 % in Latvia and 1.3 % in Poland. The
accession causes changes in a variety of regulations on free trade, food
hygiene, freedom of settlement and free movement of labour. The EU Common
Agricultural Policy now also applies to all countries.

Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary: The local organic market is growing

Poland with 61,236 ha of farmland used for organic agriculture, which was
farmed by 2,278 organic units in 2003, has an organic share of only 0.4 % of
total agriculture. A rather large 54 % share of this is, however, arable
land, which enables production of a variety of different produce like corn,
vegetables and potatoes. A number of organic farming associations are active
in Poland, the best known is Ekoland. In Poland, the largest of the new
member states, small, specialized shops selling wholesome foods have been
opened for more than a decade. Whereas some of these around 200 shops have a
rather low share of organic products, others offer an organic share of some
80 %. The degree of professionalization of the specialized shops differs
widely. Some still cultivate the charm of the early days, others convey a
very modern natural ambience.

The neighbouring Czech Republic had just under 6 % or 255,000 ha of organic
land farmed by only 650 organic units in 2003, but over 90 % of the organic
farming area is grassland. The cows and cattle kept on these grassland areas
produce milk and meat, which has been mainly sold via the conventional
market until now. A separate marketing system is still to be set up. The
Czech farming association Pro-Bio has rendered outstanding services in
establishing organic agriculture and marketing. There are about 100 health
food stores in the Czech Republic and a total of some 400 shops of all kinds
are supplied by the largest organic food and health food wholesaler. Half a
dozen modern specialist shops with a broad range of organic foods already
exist in Prague. Several of these shops include a bistro or even proper
restaurants for giving the organic food a "practical test".

Budapest also has a handful of organic food and health food stores, some of
which have been opened in recent years. In Hungary, over 100,000 ha are
farmed organically by 1,100 units, which equates to a share of 1.7 % (2002).
This means a certain spectrum of local products is available. The products
include vegetables, herbs, spices, oilseeds, goose and specialities like
processed products of Mangalitza pork. This special woolly-haired breed of
grazing pigs was previously bred in Hungary and is particularly robust. The
best-known organic association is Biokultura, which was founded in 1983,
long before the political revolution.

Slovakia and Slovenia midfield in Europe

The neighbouring Slovak Republic has only half as many inhabitants as the
Czech Republic. 50,000 ha (2002) or 2.2 % of the farming area is farmed
organically by only 84 mainly very large units. They produce wine, fruit,
corn, peas, peppers, apples and carrots. The organic farming associations
are Ekotrend, Naturalis and Ekovita.

The structure in Slovenia is distinctly smaller: Here 1,150 organic farmers
produce wine, fruit juices, oils and cheese on an area of 15,000 ha. The
organic share of the total area is already 3.4 % (2002). Organic farmers are
members of the Union of Slovenian Organic Farmers Association.

Organic still in its infancy on the islands of Malta and Cyprus

Malta with 385,000 inhabitants is the most southerly and smallest EU
accession country. It lies just under 100 km south of Sicily and only 290 km
from Africa. Malta has five organic food shops and only seven organic
farmers. The farming association for Malta is the Malta Organic Agriculture
Movement (MOAM). There is, however, a long way to go to a functioning
organic marketing system: Only 5 % of the products sold in the shops are
from organic cultivation, according to insider estimates. Fresh organic
produce like fruit, vegetables and dairy products are not even stocked in
Malta's shops. The farmers must therefore sell their produce, mainly
potatoes and vegetables, direct (and partly not declared as organic) at
conventional prices.

In Cyprus, where organic development started with two farmers in 1988, there
are already 45 farms with 166 ha of land. The Cyprus Organic Producers
Association was founded in 2000. The farmers produce wine, olive oil, corn,
dairy products, meat and vegetables.

Baltic States: Estonia leads the field

The Baltic States with their 7 million inhabitants are also backing organic.
Organic farming has developed most in Estonia, the Baltic State with the
smallest population (1.4 million). A noteworthy 3 % or 30,000 ha of the area
farmed has been converted to organic. Most of the 583 organic farms are
members of the two associations, the Estonian Bio-Dynamic Association and
the Estonian Organic Producers Union. An organic law was passed in Estonia
in 1998 that provided for an organic logo "Mahemärk" for labelling products.
The intensive co-operation between German and Scandinavian organic
organizations and partners in Estonia at the beginning of the nineties made
it possible for Estonia to set up its own bio-dynamic farming association in
a short space of time. Apart from meat, corn, buckwheat and vegetables, milk
and honey are the main organically grown products of the Baltic States.

Lithuania currently only has 0.25 % of land used for organic farming, which
is worked by some 400 organic farmers. The associations Gaia and Ekoagros
are active in Lithuania. The aim of the Lithuanian government, which
meanwhile supports the conversion to organic agriculture, is an organic
share of 5 % of farming land by 2010. In Latvia, some 500 organic farmers,
mostly members of the Association of Latvian Organizations for Organic
Agriculture, farm 0.81 % of the land used for agricultural purposes.

The Ekoconnect association promotes East-West contacts in organic
agriculture

The German association Ekoconnect of Dresden, founded by committed private
persons from the organic industry, wants to create a forum for partnerships
between East and West and for getting to know each other. Under the
management of Bernd Jansen, many events have been organized since the
beginning of 2004, including events to establish contact between Polish,
Czech and German organic farmers. A network of activities is beginning to
develop that will contribute to a common positive trend at the interface
between old and new EU Member States. (www.ekoconnect.org)

10,000 experts already subscribe to their free BioFach Newsletter - what
about you? Just click: www.biofach.de <http://www.biofach.de/>