FAS Magazine Goes Organic
"The Whole World Is Going Organic" is the theme of the June 2000, all-organics issue of FASs AgExporter magazine. It features an interview with the Organic Trade Associations executive director; articles on export opportunities in the U.K., Taiwan, France, Germany, and Hong Kong; advice from successful U.S. exporters of organic commodities and processed products; and more. The magazine can be viewed at the FAS home page: www.fas.usda.gov
Morocco Gears Up to Supply France with Organic Products
A recent article in Libre Service Actualités, a magazine for the retail food sector, described Moroccos emerging organics sector and its intentions to supply organic produce to the EU market, particularly France. The French organics market, valued in 1999 at $533 million or about 0.3 percent of total food consumption, is growing rapidly. Although consumption still lags other more developed markets in the EU, demand for organic products exceeds supply, so the potential to expand is great. Four months ago, the Association of Organic Products was established to represent the interests of Moroccos organics sector, and French certifiersEcocert and Qualite Francehave set up shop there to assure that products conform to French norms and EU regulations established for organics. Moroccos organic production is concentrated on fresh fruit and vegetables, mainly tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, oranges and aromatic herbs. Given current production methods, it is believed that Moroccos 400,000 small farms will be easy to convert to organic farming. Production has been doubling each year and is currently at 8,000 tons. Morocco faces competition for the French market from Italy and Spain which have an advantage as members of the EU, and from Turkey (dried fruits) and Israel (grapefruit, avocado and olives). However, Morocco hopes to build on the close ties it has already with France which currently absorbs 55 percent of Moroccos conventional fresh fruit and vegetable exports.
New Zealand Organics
Organic Exports - In 1994-95, New Zealands organic exports were worth NZ$8 million ($US4 million), and they are projected to grow to NZ$60 million ($US30 million) in the next two years. Japan is the largest market, accounting for 47 percent of the exports which consist mainly of kiwifruit, processed vegetables and baby food. Thirty-two percent of New Zealands exports, mainly fruit and vegetables, go to Europe, and Australia is emerging as a promising market. On the domestic side, the market is growing rapidly as New Zealands three supermarket chains pay more attention to organics. Although at present New Zealands organic output is primarily fresh fruit and processed vegetables, small quantities of organic meat, wool and dairy products are also available.
Organic Kiwifruit Increasing - New Zealands largest grower of organic produce, the kiwifruit industry, is set to almost double its exports this season. Three years ago, a number of conventional growers decided to begin the transition to organic methods and are this year coming into fully certified organic production. As a result, output is expected to grow by about 80 percent, boosting the organic share of total production to about 4 percent. Over the next five years, the organic share is expected to comprise about 8-10 percent of national production. Prices in Europe, Japan and the United States for organic kiwifruit from New Zealand have ranged from 8-15 percent above prices for conventional fruit.
Sustainable Agriculture Video Project for China
FASs Research and Scientific Exchange Division, International Cooperation & Development (RSED/ICD)*, is working with a Chinese non-governmental organization called Global Village Beijing (GVB) to produce a video series on sustainable agricultural practices in the United States. By highlighting key issues in the success of U.S. agricultural sustainability, the video sequence will serve as an educational model for developing sustainable agriculture in China. Key technical experts from USDA, US EPA, U.S. universities, and other organizations are contributing to the project with their practical insights in the following subject areas: USDA agricultural policy and history of sustainable agriculture; research, extension and education systems; agricultures contribution to river basin management; soil erosion control; forest management and policy; organic farming; animal waste control; aquaculture; biotechnology in agriculture; irrigation; and Integrated Pest Management.
The video series will be broadcast on Chinese Central Television 7, the national science and technology station during GVBs "Time for Environment" program with an estimated audience of over 90 million, and on Chinese Central Television 2, the national economics and business channel, during the "Economics Half Hour" program which has an estimated audience of 150 million people. In addition to national broadcasts, the videos will appear on China provincial television stations and will be used as a teaching supplement in Chinese agricultural universities. For more information about this project, contact Melissa Clarkson at 202-720-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* RSED provides financial and technical support for collaborative scientific research involving U.S. and foreign scientists and facilitates project implementation from the development stage through final evaluation. Cooperation is encouraged to promote sustainable agricultural and forestry systems; help secure a safe and adequate food supply; avert potential threats to U.S. agriculture and forestry; develop new technologies; and enhance agribusiness and trade in foreign markets. Participating countries benefit through a variety of activities including both short and long-term visits of U.S. and foreign scientists, collaborative research projects, technical workshops, and links to a network of agricultural experts in USDA, other federal agencies, the university system and private sector organizations.
For more news on organics, see HTPs monthly newsletter "Organic Perspectives," available at the HTP home page: /htp/organics/organics/html. The newsletter contains reports on organics from around the world gleaned from attache reports, trips made by HTPs 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 at 202-720-1176.)