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15/08/2016

Brexit – What's next?

The British voted by a  small majority to exit the European Union. That has consequences for the  wider economy and for the EU. The wholefood industry has so far shown itself to be not particularly worried. Can that be right? After the British decision to leave the EU companies in other industries set up crisis management teams or at least working groups to assess the impact, but in the  wholefood sector most firms are operating the principle of 'business as usual'.  In fact, there are many  questions to be addressed, and they affect the organic sector too.

By voting for Brexit the British forfeit all the advantages that accrue from membership of the EU, from farm subsidies, freedom to choose where to work to free trade. “At this point in time it's too early to say whether this will give rise to a change in the offer of goods or the price of organic products in Britain and the EU,“ says Elke Röder, the managing director of the Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN). It's important, because turnover falls if the end customer won't accept rising prices.

In Britain itself the organic sector sees hard times ahead. “All British producers and traders who want to do business with the EU will have to abide by EU organic legislation,“ explains IFOAM, the international association of organic farming movements. They already have to comply, but they do so under better conditions. Before the referendum, the licensing organisation OF&G was already warning the British that they would lose their right to participate in deciding issues of regulation. The head of OF&G, Roger Kerr, fears there will be economic impacts as well: “Organic is a strong and expanding sector in Europe and we're worried whether the opportunities this presents will be as freely available to British companies once the United Kingdom has left the EU.“

Few goods from the UK – but an important export market

It's true that the volume of goods from the UK to the Continent is comparatively small. “It is, however, an important export market for processed products. Nevertheless, I can't see any particular difficulties at the moment,“ maintains Peter Röhrig, the managing director of the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (German Organic Food Association BÖLW). Hardly anybody is concerned about the possibility of tariffs that, after exiting, the country could put on products from the EU. “That seems unlikely and tariffs would apply to competitors in other EU states as well,“ says Röhrig. At Weleda too they are taking it calmly. Britain accounts for around three percent of the natural cosmetics company's turnover. “So we're not anticipating Brexit will have any direct effect on our business,“ is the reassuring message from company spokesman Theo Stepp.

The manufacturer Rapunzel does hardly any business with the UK. “So Brexit won't affect us very much,“ is how Managing Director Andreas Wenning sees the situation. This also means that the UK leaving the EU will not lead to higher prices for the company's products. Other manufacturers with business relations with Britain, like Allos and Holle, had not responded to our enquiry by our deadline for publication. For Dennree it is too soon after Brexit and they need more time to respond.

Sales channels for organic products in Great Britain

“It has never been easier to lose pounds“

But it's not only direct trade relations that are impacted by Brexit. After the vote to leave the value of the pound sterling fell by more than ten percent and reached its lowest level since 1985. “It has  never been easier to lose pounds,“ somebody in the financial sector joked . However, at the same time the euro also came under pressure against the US dollar. Actors in the financial markets are assuming that Brexit will have a negative effect on the rest of the EU.

A lot of business is transacted in US dollars, including in the wholefood industry. Examples are imports of cocoa, groundnuts and tropical fruit, and coffee, coconuts and palm oil are, of course, not produced in the EU either. Importers still don't seem to be worried. The sometimes violent fluctuations on the money markets are dismissed as short-term reactions that balance out over a longer time-scale. But it could happen that in the medium term the price structure will adjust as the exchange rates settle down at new levels. If it get too expensive we could expect a fall in demand.

British “Limited“ still possible?

People clearly affected are workers and entrepreneurs who are British citizens and work in  Germany. According to the EU, after Brexit they are likely to need “a permit for residence in Germany for the purpose of gainful employment.“ Some entrepreneurs have chosen the “limited“company form in keeping with British law. A limited company is easier, quicker and less costly to set up than a GmbH, and it was possible only because Britain was a member of the EU. “Anyone who has opted for it may well have to convert the company after Brexit to a GbR or a GmbH, which would of course add to their costs,“ Röhrig explains.

Numerous representatives of industry also assume that Britain will leave but, like Norway or Switzerland, will still be closely linked to the Eu, so that there will not be any great change. That could be a dangerous conclusion to draw, because it's being said in the policitical world that they want to send a clear message and make the British feel the negative consequences of leaving. The thinking behind this is that it will prevent EU opponents in France, Austria, the Netherlands and other states from following suit and having the same success – so that “What's next?“ doesn't become “Who's next?“ This is why people in the wholefood industry should keep a close eye on what approach is being taken and prepare themselves well in advance for the consequences. “Basically, a similar situation applies to the organic industry as to other business sectors,“ Röder warns.

Comment: "No time for tea"

Achtung, Achtung! The British want to leave the European Union. The warning lights are flashing in the world of politics and business. Everywhere the mood is one of crisis. Everywhere. Well, almost. For the wholefood industry Brexit is no reason to interrupt lecture tours or cancel company outings. “We'll wait and see what happens“ - this describes the mindset of the industry perfectly. Sit back, wait and drink tea. This is a dereliction of duty to customers, employees and your own company. The global economy is like a mobile that a breath of wind can set in motion but, if one weight is removed, the whole thing tilts and the balance is lost.

There's no need for a frenzy of activity, but the time has come to ask yourself a few questions.

For example: What precisely does the decision of the British mean for me? Have I got relevant products in my range? What trade relations are affected? Am I a customer of a British bank? And above all else: Where can I get information if I've got questions on precisely these issues and need answers quickly?

Many products on the shelves are not local or regional. We all know coconuts, groundnuts, cocoa, bananas and mangos aren't grown in the EU, but distortions in the market can arise in this segment because the wholefood industry is tied to world market prices. When the exchange rates for dollar, pound and euro, etc. settle down at new levels, products are going to get either more expensive or cheaper in the long term. If the economic fallout means that people have less money in their pockets, how much they will spend on (specialist trade) organics and what margins retailers will have are unknown quantities.

Nobody knows what will happen. All we can be sure about is that as soon as the British declare they are leaving the EU we've got precisely two years. Extending this deadline is possible only with the unanimous agreement of the European Council, which is unlikely. But will the British exit the EU rapidly? Will they take their time? Is it even possible they will back down and not exit the EU?

Whatever they decide, each of these possibilities will have economic repercussions and all traders ought to be well prepared. Once they are prepared there will still be time to sit back and drink tea.


Source: http://organic-market.info

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12/12/2016

IFOAM EU: we need a new start for the organic regulation

IFOAM EU acknowledges the efforts from the EU Commission, Council and Parliament and is delighted to accept the European Parliament invitation to discuss further developments with organic stakeholders

09/12/2016

EU safety review on glyphosate still pending

Although there has been shown clear evidence of the cancerogen potential of the weedkiller glyphosate by the WHO IARC study and the EU Parliament voted against an extension...

07/12/2016

Kenya: organic farming is productive and resource-conserving

A long-term study in Kenya shows that maize yields and nutrient uptake in the organic farming systems are quite similar to conventional systems

05/12/2016

US National Organic Standards: no GMO 2.0

According to US-based Organic Consumers Association (OCA) the National Organic Standard Board (NOSB) decided last month that new GMO technologies won´t be allowed in organics

08/11/2016

Swiss GMO program in India in spite of their own ban

Despite the current ban on genetically modified crops in Switzerland wants to promote the development of transgenic crops in India.

09/10/2016

Europe’s biggest trade agreement reaches its most crucial point

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement mostly referred to as CETA are proposed trade agreements between the European Union and Canada and the United States

09/10/2016

EU Parliament objects to new GMO authorisations

European Parliament voted to oppose the authorisation proposal for cultivation and for import and use in food and feed of five GMOs

08/01/2016

Organic groceries discount at Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada has quietly launched a new lineup of organic products under its Great Value store brand

26/06/2014

Tips on how to use Connature

Connature is a Contact and Trade online and global platform for the organic market.

23/11/2017

Strong institutional commitment needed to ensure a good legislative transition

Brussels, 22 November 2017 – The trilogue agreement for a new organic regulation reached last June was adopted by the Special Committee on Agriculture on Monday and by the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture today

20/11/2017

Denmark: catering and off-trade sales at least 30% organic

At a dialogue event in Hamburg, about 60 participants learned that in Denmark, the off-trade catering market has become the most important grow engine for organic food.

13/11/2017

USA: prohibition of aquaponics in organic food production rejected by NOSB

At a meeting on the 1st November 2017, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected the proposal to ban hydroponic and aquaponic production methods under the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program

07/11/2017

Scandinavia is gaining strength in natural personal care

"The Nordic region continues to ‘set the trends’ in health and wellness for the rest of the world“, say the organisers ot the event.

30/10/2017

ISO 16128 guidelines for cosmetics

The ISO guidelines for natural and organic cosmetics donot take consumers interests at heart, states the association NATRUE

27/10/2017

Monsanto in trouble

The US seed-& pesticide corporation Monsanto is in trouble. There are many reasons. Among others, the authorization of Monsanto’s flagship the weedkiller Roundup and its ingredient glyphosate is expiring in the EU by the end of this year

26/10/2017

Growing number of EU governments oppose re-approval of glyphosate

The political and public opposition to glyphosate is growing in Europe

17/10/2017

Study Failed promises - the rise and fall of GM cotton in India

Failed Promises: the rise and fall of GM cotton in India", is a well-documented report about the collapse of GM cotton in the world.

09/10/2017

IFOAM launches its new strategic plan

After two years of discussion internally and with stakeholders, IFOAM - Organics International launches its new strategic plan

04/10/2017

Germany: 9.3 million vegetarians and vegans

8 million people in Germany, more than 10 percent of the population, eat a vegetarian diet.

03/10/2017

USA: Organic Agriculture Research Act gained support

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), a non-profit foundation, reports a big success. The Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436) gained crucial bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress recently.

22/09/2017

Canada: 10% increase in organic sales

Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) reports that 66%  Canadian consumers spend at least some of their weekly grocery budget on organic items.

11/09/2017

Research: Quality control anywhere and at all times

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Fotein BV jointly developed a mobile research facility. It enables research into the quality and preservation of fresh products anywhere in the world

05/09/2017

In Tallinn EU ministers of agriculture must look further than their egg cups

Estonia holds the EU Council Presidency until the end of this year. At their meeting in Tallinn from 3-5 September the topics to be discussed by the EU ministers of agriculture will include the fipronil scandal.

04/09/2017

UK: Soil Association’s Organic September campaign starting in september

After the huge success of last year’s campaign, Soil Association is starting its new Organic September campaign the first of september.

01/09/2017

Important details in marketing Kamut

For a number of years Kamut has been a trend food. It's a grain that can be easily marketed because there's something mystical about it

24/08/2017

BASF wants to stop selling Fipronil as a pesticide

After the European egg-scandal, BASF stops selling Fipronil as a pesticide

21/08/2017

USA: Export and Import balance

USA has become the biggest importer of organic food in the world, with organic making up a large proportion of the imports of particular products.

10/08/2017

Ireland: the possibility of becoming a GMO-free country

Ireland should work towards becoming a GMO-free country in order to maintain biodiversity and to provide a wide selection of seeds for potential international food crisis

31/07/2017

New EU Organic Regulation imminent – an analysis

The organic industry in many European countries reacted with horror when they heard that the Council of Ministers, the EU Parliament and the Commission have agreed behind closed doors on a revision of the EU Organic Regulation

13/07/2017

Italy: posts new record in organic sales

Nielsen data presented by the Italian Association for Organic Trade AssoBio show a very positive trend in the sale of organic food in Italian supermarkets

07/07/2017

Beyond Organic Skincare have just launched a fabulous new range of Sulphate free organic hair products

A fabulous new range of Sulphate free organic Shampoo, Conditioner, Anti-bacterial Hand-wash and Moisturising Body Wash.
 

26/06/2017

Records in U.S. sales 2016 - the $40-billion mark is cracked

End of May the Organic Trade Association OTA published its 2017 Organic Industry Survey at the Annual Policy Conference in Washington D.C.. The survey shows that total sales in 2016 increased to $47 billion US-Dollar

19/06/2017

USA: organic frontrunners in east and west

In California, customers buy organic food more frequently than their counterparts in other federal states

15/06/2017

Up to now no GMO potatoes in Canada

There will be no commercially grown GMO potatoes on Prince Edward Island this year, according to Simplot Plant Sciences, the company that developed the Innate potato

12/06/2017

Italy: rising turnover of organic fruit and vegetables

In 2016, per capita consumption of fruit and vegetables in Italy was 152 kg, around 9 million tonnes were sold, with consumers opting increasingly for organic fruit and vegetables.

09/06/2017

France: organic retail continues to expand

As last year, France is excelling with high growth rates in the organic sector, in terms of both land area and turnover, the increase is impressive

05/06/2017

A positive balance for Fairtrade Austria

Austria is among the top 5 Fairtrade countries worldwide; 92 percent of the population know what the Fairtrade organisation does, 41 percent buy products carrying its label regularly and 81 percent at least occasionally

31/05/2017

Fair trade cracks billion euro barrier

For the first time, turnover of fair trade products in Germany exceeded one billion euros. Consumers spent 1.2 billion euros on fairly traded products – a rise of  18 percent

29/05/2017

Switzerland and China: collaboration agreement signed

five-year bilateral cooperation agreement between China and Switzerland

15/05/2017

UK: Next government must prioritise soil

A news item published by the Soil Association explains that in the run-up to the general election in the UK they are urging all parties to commit to protecting and restoring soil health in their manifestos

10/05/2017

Belgium: glyphosate herbicide ban

The safety of glyphosate is an ongoing issue, with the EU Commission still refusing to put in place legally binding restrictions on glyphosate herbicide. In the light of probable re-authorisation at EU level, member states are taking matters in to their own hands

08/05/2017

Goa Organic

Goa’s melting-pot, culturally diverse population and ‘Popular Vacation Destination’ status have made it home to an ebullient organic community

02/05/2017

New York: protesters seek clarity from TIAA

An article posted by Friends of the Earth last week explains how FOE and a coalition of environmental, human rights and family farm organizations recently delivered a letter with over 100,000 signatures to pension fund management company TIAA...

29/04/2017

USA: millennials and organic – a winning combination

In North America the so called-generation of millennials is adopting organic in a big way: on the farm and on the internet, in the kitchen and in the board room

18/04/2017

The role of changing value chains in a sustainable food system

Resource efficiency, avoidance of waste and biodiversity...

13/04/2017

Qatar: organics on the increase

In Quatar, rising demand for organics means expansion of organic agriculture, higher local production and fewer imports

10/04/2017

USA: Organics on the rise in US households

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has released data showing that organic products are now used in more than 80% of kitchens in US households

04/04/2017

USA: Organic Farming Research Foundation´s report on challenges of organic farming

In the USA the demand for organic food is growing rapidly and there is a need for more research so that farmers can deal with the special difficulties and problems that accompany practising organic agriculture

03/04/2017

Organic Market in Romania

Organic domestic consumption is rising in Romania

29/03/2017

FiBL trial in Bolivia: comparing cacao in agroforestry and monoculture

Thus cacao in conventional monoculture produces higher yields but has a negative environmental impact..

22/03/2017

EU: renouncing palm oil?

Sustainable production and export criteria for palm oil and gradually  abandoning the promotion of biofuel are intended to create better protection of the rainforest and the threatened species that live therein

20/03/2017

Germany the world leader in organic and fair

Organic and Fair: nowhere else in the world is this combination as popular as in the German market. 70 percent of fairtrade goods sold in 2016

14/03/2017

Austria: 30 percent organic by 2025

Austria is continuing to play a pioneer role in Europe in terms of organic. The new target is organic management of 30% of its agricultural land by 2025

10/03/2017

Birkenstock: newcomer to natural cosmetics

It really was a surprise. Birkenstock, the traditional company we associate with healthcare footwear, has ventured into new territory...

09/03/2017

EU organic law: trialogue continues under the leadership of Malta

After a three-month break, the negotiations on the revision of the EU Eco-Regulation under the Maltese Presidency of the Council continue...

06/03/2017

Tea Promoters India: organic future for Darjeeling

Darjeeling, a region in the Himalayas, is synonymous with good tea. During the colonial era the British introduced tea growing and Darjeeling became famous for its tea

02/03/2017

EU Agricultural policy: citizens can submit proposals

EU Commissioner for agriculture, Phil Hogan, has launched a survey to find out the opinions of citizens on the future of EU agricultural policy after 2020

24/02/2017

Korea: controversial discussion on new GMO rules

As Korean media reported the government's new rules on genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling on products are into effect since beginning of  February

24/02/2017

UK: organic market tops £2 billion

The 2017 Organic Market Report was launched by the Soil Association on Monday, 21st of February

11/02/2017

Global organic personal care market to reach $25.7 billion

According to the report the global organic personal care market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 9.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $25.7 billion by 2025

06/02/2017

USA: animal welfare rule for the organic sector released

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 19 published the final rule on animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry in the Federal Register

30/01/2017

Nuremberg, the organic Metropolis

Much is happening in the organic sector in Nuremberg and beyond the city boundaries. In order to further strengthen the organic sector in the region for the future, organic projects are gathered under the umbrella “Nuremberg, The Organic Metropolis”.

23/01/2017

Canada: majority of consumers still opposed to GM food

According to a report of Producer.com people don’t know much about GM foods, but have a negative feeling when it comes to genetically modified foods

13/01/2017

Germany: sales of organic vegetables booming

According to surveys by the German agricultural information service AMI, there was high demand for organic vegetables in 2016

05/01/2017

Organic cotton from India designed in New York

India is an important supplier of organic cotton...

30/12/2016

EU Court: authorisation of GM soya lawful

The GM soya "Intacta" can continue to be sold in the EU

12/12/2016

IFOAM EU: we need a new start for the organic regulation

IFOAM EU acknowledges the efforts from the EU Commission, Council and Parliament and is delighted to accept the European Parliament invitation to discuss further developments with organic stakeholders

09/12/2016

EU safety review on glyphosate still pending

Although there has been shown clear evidence of the cancerogen potential of the weedkiller glyphosate by the WHO IARC study and the EU Parliament voted against an extension...

07/12/2016

Kenya: organic farming is productive and resource-conserving

A long-term study in Kenya shows that maize yields and nutrient uptake in the organic farming systems are quite similar to conventional systems

05/12/2016

US National Organic Standards: no GMO 2.0

According to US-based Organic Consumers Association (OCA) the National Organic Standard Board (NOSB) decided last month that new GMO technologies won´t be allowed in organics

08/11/2016

Swiss GMO program in India in spite of their own ban

Despite the current ban on genetically modified crops in Switzerland wants to promote the development of transgenic crops in India.

09/10/2016

Europe’s biggest trade agreement reaches its most crucial point

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement mostly referred to as CETA are proposed trade agreements between the European Union and Canada and the United States

09/10/2016

EU Parliament objects to new GMO authorisations

European Parliament voted to oppose the authorisation proposal for cultivation and for import and use in food and feed of five GMOs

08/01/2016

Organic groceries discount at Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada has quietly launched a new lineup of organic products under its Great Value store brand

26/06/2014

Tips on how to use Connature

Connature is a Contact and Trade online and global platform for the organic market.