Since we as a PCG team do not have our own booth at the Biofach this year, there is more time to look around with colleagues or at the congress events. Some of the presentations were about statistics – the figures seem to support the perception we all have:
- The market for organic products (in Western Europe) is growing – but not for all participants. Producers were mainly milk producers, who have grown in number and size. Agricultural acreage grew by only about 5% across Europe, but products were up 50% – driven by Vegan & Co.
- Organic trade in Germany grew by about 10%, although 9% of this growth came from supermarkets. In total, only about 4% of the trade are organic products. Incidentally, the USA has the highest share in the food sector worldwide, with almost 10%.
- France is interesting: the number of dealers and suppliers has risen by 30% in 2017.
- Italy has many supermarket chains: there was a slide in the presentation showing 21 different brand labels – and then there are the growers’ associations. The situation is similar in the rest of Europe, so differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult.
- If you look at the dimensions of organics, ecology/sustainability and ethics… organic food is winning enormously. So people buy because they find it good for themselves – not so much to save the world.
The figures and my interpretations are, of course, to be treated with caution – especially when comparing the markets. There are many different methods of counting, there are also various organisations in the countries that publish their figures at different times – sometimes in 2016 from country A has to be compared with 2017 from country B. As with all statistics, the trend is therefore what can be compared well – and this fits in with the interest the Biofasch Show: organic continues to grow.