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Singapores Organic Market: Small But Growing
Singapores market for organic foods was estimated at about $3.5 million in 2000. Currently, Singapores domestic production is limited to some fresh vegetables. The United States leads the import market in all areas, except fresh produce. Australia is currently the main competitor for the United States and can supply many of the same products that are being imported from the United States. New Zealand is a competitor in organic meats, specifically beef, and a small number of other products. Malaysia and India have some strengths in the organic vegetable market. Overall, the United States is perceived to have a better range and better quality products than Australia or any other country.
The market for organic foods is a series of niche markets which are continuing to see moderate growth. Organic foods interact with products that are described as "chemical free" rather than organic and other products whose ingredients are only partially organic. Most local consumers do not understand organic foods and consumer education about these products is currently very weak.
Over the past 5 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of products in the market. More products are carried by conventional retailers, but the market still revolves around smaller health food shops and concession space rented by some importers from some mainstream retailers. Demand appears strongest for organic brown rice, products consumed for health reasons (organic cider vinegar and herbal teas), and some convenience foods consumed by western and Japanese expatriates. According to the trade, they are still trying to source authentic Asian organic processed foods, organic seafood, and some varieties of organic cereal flours. To read the full report on the Singapore market for organic products, go to SN1006.
Canada Offers Financial Assistance for Organic Food Producers
Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief announced federal funding totaling C$600,000 (US$400,000) to help Canadian organic food producers increase domestic and international sales. The bulk of the federal assistance money will fund the Organic Accreditation Assistance Program, a plan to encourage certifying bodies to apply for accreditation under the National Organic Standard. The remainder will help offset publishing costs of an Organic Field Crop Handbook and support next years International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements World Congress in Victoria, British Columbia, which is expected to attract 1,000 delegates from around the world. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada believes Canadian retail sales of organic food exceeds C$1 billion ($660,000 million). Canada adopted a national organic standard in 1999.
Turkeys Organic Industry: Mostly for Export, But Domestic Demand is Growing
Turkey has been producing organic products since the mid 1980s, when a Turkish trade delegation to Europe was approached on supplying organic products to the Netherlands. Dried sultanas, apricots, and figs were the first items to be produced organically. Since that time Turkey has increased production and exportation of organic agricultural products. Most products are grown in the Aegean region. Domestic consumption remains very limited at about $3 to $5 million a year, but shows signs of increasing growth as dedicated organic retailers have begun operations in the past year. Turkish organic production can be broken into the following product categories: dried fruits, edible nuts, spices and herbs, fresh or processed fruits and vegetables, pulses, cereals, industrial crops, other raw/processed products. The leading products are sultanas, figs, apricots, and hazelnuts. Frozen fruits and vegetables and fruit juice-concentrates are two other product areas which are growing in Turkey. To read the full report on the Turkeys market for organic products, go to TU1029.
For more news on organics, see HTPs newsletter "Organic Perspectives."