- Organic Updates
- Upcoming Promotion Opportunities for U.S.
- Following a packed show season this fall, U.S. organic and
natural product suppliers may be even busier in 2000. Three exhibitions--in the world's
major markets--as well as a USDA-sponsored trade mission present great opportunities for
suppliers to develop and expand their international sales.
- Kicking off the season is BIOFACH 2000, the "World
Trade Fair for Organic Food and Natural Products," February 17-20, 2000. BIOFACH 1999
attracted 21,000 trade visitors and more than 1,200 exhibitors, including forty U.S.
suppliers who exhibited under the umbrella of the US Organic Trade Mission to BIOFACH.
U.S. organic supplier John Troy of Wizard's Cauldron (Cedar Grove, NC) recommends the
show: "BioFach is really a benchmark show for those of us in the organic
business--the exhibitors and the buyers brought knowledge and enthusiasm for organics that
I've never seen at any other show. It was awesome." Contact Kathy Donnelly at Concord
Expo Group (Tel. 978-371-2203, Fax. 978-371-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or www.biofach.de for more information.
- Concurrent with BIOFACH 2000 is the second annual European
Organic Natural Trade Mission sponsored by USDA (Feb. 14-20, 2000). The American Embassy
London will host the first stop on the mission: two days of intensive meetings and
seminars with industry leaders, importers, and distributors from one of Western Europe's
largest organic markets, the UK. The Mission then moves on to exhibit in the US Pavilion
at BIOFACH 2000 in Nuremberg, Germany. Contact Emily Felt at the North Carolina Department
of Agriculture (Tel. 919-733-7912 ext. 276 or email@example.com)
or Tim Larsen of the Colorado Department of Agriculture (Tel. 303-239-4114 or Tim.Larsen@ag.state.co.us)
- Next on the calendar is Natural Products Europe 2000 in
London, April 16-17, 2000. Formerly Natural Products Brighton, this show hopes to attract
600 exhibitors and 7000 visitors in 2000. Contact Full Moon Communications (Tel.
+44-1903-812200, Fax. +44-1903-879052 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
for further information.
- The spring season closes with Europe's newest show, Natural
Products Expo Europe in Amsterdam, May 31-June 2, 2000. Sponsored by well-known Expo
East/West organizers, New Hope Media, Expo Europe combines a comprehensive trade show with
educational programs on the organic market and the dietary supplement, functional food,
and botanical sectors. Contact New Hope International Media (Tel. +44-1273-384282, Fax.
+44-1273-384285 or email@example.com).
- Organics in Austria
- Until the late 1980's, organic farming was practiced by a
small minority of farmers in Austria. In 1988, there were 880 organic farmers and in 1998,
according to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 20,150 farmers
(about 9 percent of all farmers), and 10 percent of the utilized agricultural area were
involved in organic production. This dramatic increase is attributed to a combination of
government subsidies instituted in 1991 to encourage the switch to organics, rising
consumer awareness and demand; and greater availability of organic products through major
supermarket chains. However, the rate at which farmers are adopting organic production
methods seems to be easing. From 1994 to 1995, the number of organic farms rose 39
percent, however, the rate of increase fell to 5 percent from 1995 to 1996, and to 2
percent from 1996 to 1997.
- Most organic farms are located in mountainous areas where
livestock production dominates. The average farm size is 14 hectares (35 acres). Austria's
major organic output is beef and milk, and in fact, there is an oversupply of the
latter-only 40 percent of organic milk is sold as such, and the rest is marketed as
conventional. Two thirds of organic grain production (mainly wheat, rye and spelt) is used
as fodder, and the rest is processed into cereal for human consumption. Currently, demand
for organic pork, chicken, fruits and vegetables exceeds supply.
- Approximately 54 percent of Austrian consumers buy organic
foods at least occasionally. The most popular organic products are fruits and vegetables,
milk and dairy products, and meat and sausages. Approximately 80 percent of organic
purchases are made through supermarkets, but often fruits and vegetables, and meat and
sausages are purchased directly from the farm. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and
Forestry has recently begun to facilitate the purchase of organic products through its web
site, which also contains an encyclopedia on organic farming and a list of 1,500 organic
farmers throughout Austria.
- Austria was the first country in the world to set official
guidelines for organic farming. They were issued in 1983 and added to the Austrian food
codex in 1989. In 1991, Austria became the first country to establish organic livestock
standards. When Austria joined the EU in 1994, EEC Council Regulation 2092/91 supplanted
Austria's crop standards, but the livestock standards still apply because the EU has not
finalized its own organic livestock standards yet.
- U.S. organic products that show some promise in the
health-conscious Austrian market include rice, nuts, fruits (especially citrus and dried
fruits), kamut (an ancient variety of wheat), and processed foods.
- Source: "Organic Farming in Austria,"
Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, May 1999 (also available at the
AFMAF web site), and attache reports AU8039 and AU8031.
- Spotlight on Two USDA Programs
- ATTRA: A Practical Resource for Sustainable and Organic
Farmers - Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), a joint effort of
the National Center for Appropriate Technology and USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative
Service, provides practical information on sustainable and organic agriculture to U.S.
farmers, Extension agents, researchers, farm organizations and others. The ATTRA web site
contains a wealth of information including reports on organic alliums, tomatoes, sweet
corn, fruit, blueberries and cranberries, as well as sustainable production of hogs, beef,
corn and soybeans, and a list of suppliers of organic, non-genetically engineered and
heirloom seeds. The web site is: www.attra.org/
- SARE: Research on Horticultural Crops - Since 1988,
the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program has funded hands-on
projects to identify practical methods to manage sustainable agricultural systems.
"Ten Years of SARE" showcases selected projects, many of which are directly
related to organics or yield knowledge applicable to organic production. This month,
horticultural crops are featured:
- - An apple grower in Wisconsin discovered a combination of
IPM techniques that provides insect damage control with a minimum of spray.
- - A computer program and on-site weather station enabled a
New York grape producer to time spray applications for maximum effectiveness, reducing
costs by dramatically reducing the quantity of synthetic chemicals used.
- - An organic vegetable grower in North Carolina discovered
a mix of cover crops that harbor beneficial insects such as aphid-eating ladybugs, a
finding that may someday prove useful in the production of major southern crops like
cotton and peanuts.
- - Using certain cover crops and tillage practices, an
Oregon vegetable grower increased yields and lowered production costs through reduced
SARE's searchable Data Base of Projects contains details
about other SARE research. Visit the SARE web site at www.sare.org/san/htdocs/sare/
For more news on organics, see HTP's monthly
newsletter "Organic Perspectives," available at the HTP home page: www.fas.usda.gov/htp/organics/organics.html
The newsletter contains reports on organics from around the world gleaned from
attache reports, trips made by HTP's organics staff, and other sources. The newsletter
also covers items of interest about the U.S. national organic program and the domestic
organic industry. A list of upcoming conferences, trade shows and other events is included
in every issue.
- (For further information, contact Janise Zygmont (analysis) at 202-720-1176
or Kelly Strzelecki (marketing) at 202-690-1341.)
Last modified: Thursday, April 06, 2000