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08/01/2018

Singapore: First Sustainable Foods Summit Asia-Pacific successful

The premier Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit drew to a successful close in Singapore a few weeks ago, bringing together about 100 senior executives from the regional food industry. Discussions centered on sustainability developments, organic market potential, health impacts, and food ingredients.

The summit opened with a keynote from Raj Seelam, CEO of Sresta Natural BioProducts. According to the founder of the leading organic food company in India, organic is the most sustainable form of agriculture because of its low environmental impacts, as well as social and health benefits. Tobias Bandel of Soil & More also called for more organic farming systems because of its positive contribution to soil fertility.

Potential for sustainable seafood and Impact of plastic packaging

Anne Gabriel from Marine Stewardship Council highlighted the potential for sustainable seafood in the Asia-Pacific. She said that 1 billion people in the region rely on fish as their primary animal protein, whilst over 80% of the world’s fisheries are located here. The organisation aims to take 20% share of global marine catch by 2020, and a third by 2030.

In another paper, Andy Sweetman from Futamura made the case for bioplastics. Highlighting the environmental impact of plastic packaging (8 million tonnes going into the ocean each year), he called for greater adoption of plant-based packaging materials by food and beverage companies. Will Marg, CEO of Organic Systems and Solutions, gave an update on sustainability certification schemes. She believes the future is with traceability, block-chain measures, and new technologies.

Asia had become a leading producer of organic foods

Some of the major obstacles in the Asian organic food industry were debated in the second session. In the opening seminar, Amarjit Sahota from Ecovia Intelligence showed that Asia had become a leading producer of organic foods, yet consumption was lagging behind Europe and North America in spite of the region having some of the most affluent consumers.

Tan Jian from OFDC China said that milk & dairy was one of the fastest growing sectors of the Chinese organic food market.

Standards inconsistency and labelling issues were cited as the major pitfalls when entering the Chinese market.

Organic and Beyond Corporation and Sresta Natural BioProducts presented as case studies of leading organic food enterprises in China and India respectively. Vitoon Panyakul discussed the key issues Asian companies face when developing local markets in Asia, whilst Andrew Monk from Australian Organic gave insights into consumer behaviour. When debating the future outlook for organic products, some panellists believed Asia will show high growth in the coming decade. One speaker called into question the role of certification, since the region has a large and disparate number of organic standards.

Second day: healthy diets and digital media

Duncan McCance from The Frank Food Company kicked off the second day with a keynote on healthy diets. The chef is attempting to re-connect Singaporean consumers to agriculture with its home delivery scheme. Certified organic vegetables are picked in neighbouring Indonesia and delivered to consumer households within 12 hours. To encourage home cooking, the company provides free recipes. Nielsen highlighted some of the health & wellness trends stimulating demand for organic and sustainable foods. Digital media is expected to play an important role in the future, helping consumers make healthy and sustainable choices.

Callie Tai, CEO and Co-Founder of the leading health & organic food shop in Malaysia JustLife, shared her story in encouraging consumers to lead a healthy lifestyle. Education plays a key role, with the company arranging organic farm visits, an Earth day carnival, and campaigns for earth-friendly beauty products. SaladStop! was presented as a case study of a chain of healthy food diners. Set up in November 2009, the Singapore-based company has set up almost 40 outlets in various Asian locations. It is using sustainable and traceable ingredients in its healthy food options.

Eugene Wang, Founder and CEO of Sophie’s Kitchen, called for more plant-based proteins in Asian diets. The company is using konjac flour, algae, and yellow peas to create seafood alternative products. The dietician Ujjwala Baxi discussed the paradox of healthy food choices; she believes the best way to encourage healthy foods was incremental changes in consumer behaviour.

The final session discussed the growing use of sustainable food ingredients. Givaudan covered the sustainability issues associated with flavourings, whilst Puifung Leung from Fairtrade Hong Kong outlined the growing prospects for fairtrade products in the Asian region. Kalli Swaik from Ben & Jerry’s Asia gave insights into the sustainable ingredients used in the company’s ice-cream products; apart from fairtrade sugar and cocoa, the company has a sustainable dairy programme involving 300 farmers. The iconic ice-cream brand is using life-cycle analyses to address its environmental and social impacts. PureCircle described the growing use of stevia as a sustainable alternative to sugar in food and beverage applications.


One of the liveliest and inspiring seminars was given by H.E. Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Bhutan Minister of Agriculture and Forests. The small Himalayan country is often cited as the ‘poster child’ of sustainability; it is one of the leading advocates of organic farming, a major producer of clean energy and is carbon positive. According to the minister, the country faces many challenges when combining sustainable farming and environmental stewardship because of its mountainous terrain. He also said that all government projects are screened partly on Gross National Happiness (GNH) to see how they contribute to health & mental well-being.

Hosted for the first time in Asia, the summit raised many questions about sustainable development. As incomes and spending power rise, how can Asian consumers be encouraged to spend more on organic & sustainable foods? What can be done to raise adoption rates of plant-based proteins and dairy alternatives? How can sustainable packaging be encouraged? How can awareness of environmental issues like deforestation, ocean pollution, and climate change be translated into ethical purchases? How can governments be encouraged to intertwine environmental / sustainable development with economic development?

Some of these questions will be addressed in the next Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit, scheduled for 4-5th September 2018.


Source and picture: http://organic-market.info

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03/06/2019

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: BEST ORGANIC FARMING PRACTICES IN MOUNTAIN AREAS

The FAO's Mountain Partnership is seeking case studies for its publication “Agro-ecological and Organic Farming Practices in Mountain Areas”

29/05/2019

Interview with E-Silk Route Ventures (Pvt) Ltd, committed in producing fairly and ethically

Let's start our series of Ekowarehouse members interviews with the first company, E-Silk Route Ventures, committed in producing fairly and ethically spices, herbs, tea, fruits and vegetables.              

22/05/2019

$125 discount to register on Ekowarehouse for companies registered at Connature

Connature new Partner, Ekowarehouse the B2B Trade Platform for Organic Products and raw materials which accellerate sales.

06/05/2019

Ifoam, welcome note 2019

Feeding Europe without pesticides is a realistic objective, and a full transition of our agriculture towards agroecology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector by 40% to 47% while at the same time preserving our biodiversity. 

23/04/2019

EU commission withdraws licence of international organic certifier

EU commissions has withdrawn the organic certification licence for five countries from the international certification body Control Union, as its bad performance facilitated organic fraud

18/04/2019

European critics for Ukraina control body

European critics for Ukraina control body

08/04/2019

A new study confirms that organic farming protects the climate

The impact of long-term organic farming on soil-derived greenhouse gas emissions

01/04/2019

Household panel of market researchers highliths austrian organic share of food at 9%

The Austrians buy almost nine percent of fresh products in the conventional food retail in organic quality" -  announced by Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA

18/03/2019

European Statistic show presence of pesticides in organic imports

European Statistic show presence of pesticides in organic imports from India, China, Turkey, more controls and alignemtent with Eu Standards required

22/02/2019

THE WORLD OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE 2019

Nearly 70 million hectares worldwide of farmland are organic

18/02/2019

Organic market continues to grow everywere, in Europe as worldwide

In 2017, the European and international organic sector again recorded strong area and market growth

11/02/2019

Fair Trade demanded by cocoa producers

Bitter side of chocolate: "Breadline wages, poverty, child labour

01/02/2019

Organic farming wins performance comparison

German scientists have presented the most comprehensive study to date on the ecological and social performance of organic agriculture. The result is clear: Organic farming leads in five out of seven areas

18/01/2019

EU scientific advisors call for changing the genetic engineering law

The scientific advisors to the EU Commission have presented a paper in which they urge the Commission to change genetic engineering legislation

03/01/2019

Amazon expands network of organic supermarkets in the US

Amazon and the organic sector...expansion in the US

28/12/2018

New study on organic agriculture. Is it disadvantageous for the climate?

Organic agriculture is more damaging to the climate than conventional agriculture, scientists from Sweden and the USA claim. But is that true?

21/12/2018

Switzerland Organic sales: vegetables, fruit and milk increase significantly

From September 2017 to August 2018, 46,663 tonnes of organic vegetables worth 340 million euros were sold in Swiss retail outlets

10/12/2018

The integrity of the international organic market

After four years, the FiBL-project Consolidation of Organic Certification Bodies ended successfully

03/12/2018

EU slam for inspection body certification in Kenya

The EU Commission has examined the branch of an international certifier in Kenya and issued a very poor certificate for its work. So far, however, it has only had to do a little detention

19/11/2018

Switzerland: Organic sales of veggies, fruit and milk have increased significantly

From September 2017 to August 2018, 46,663 tonnes of organic vegetables worth 340 million euros were sold in Swiss retail outlets

09/11/2018

EU organic control in Romania slowly improving

The report praises Romania's efforts to improve the monitoring of organic inspection posts

06/11/2018

New study: Eating organic food reduces cancer risk

French scientists investigated the link between the consumption of organic food and the risk of developing certain types of cancer

02/11/2018

Germany: Microplastic in food worries consumers

Microplastic has so far been found mainly in marine fish. They confuse microplastic particles with plankton...

26/10/2018

Critical look at new additives

Again and again, individual countries move for the inclusion of further additives in the EU Organic Regulation (Annex VIII) and thus for allowing them

22/10/2018

FiBL: SMART Tool to assess food chains

In Switzerland, the Fair Food Initiative failed in a referendum. It wanted to oblige the government to strengthen “the supply of food that is of good quality...

12/10/2018

Natural cosmetics as a future market

The cosmetics market is very dynamic and a lot has happened in the last twelve months. This was emphasised by Elfriede Dambacher, consultant and expert in the natural cosmetics industry, at the 11th Natural Cosmetics Conference​

01/10/2018

German organic market: upward trend continues

What does the sales barometer for organic shops in Germany look like in the second quarter of 2018?  The turnover of the shops surveyed continues to rise

26/09/2018

Austria: Conversion to organic farming without regrets

According to a survey by Keyquest among 500 respondents, 98% of Austrian organic farmers would decide to switch back to organic farming again

20/09/2018

Switzerland: Organic consumption has doubled in ten years

In 2017, organic products worth 2.7 bn Swiss francs were sold in Switzerland, equivalent to 2.4 bn euros or 284 euros per capita

17/09/2018

Sustainability bank Triodos invests in crowdfunding platform

Bettervest specializes in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that seek to raise money from the crowd through the platform

14/09/2018

Austria: denn‘s biomarkt expands branch network

A new denn's organic market store will open in Eisenstadt, Austria

03/09/2018

E.V.I - the document on Sustainability which wins the trust of Investors

Companies and start-up need to consider sustainability when it comes to plan processes, products, governance and promotion

28/08/2018

Italy: Organic sector shows impressive growth

Market data collected by Nielsen market research until May 2018, confirm a very positive trend in the Italian organic sector

27/08/2018

Canada Organic Trade Association welcomes government funding for organic sector

According to the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), the Canadian government is investing $8.3 million in organic agriculture research

22/08/2018

Nestlé USA: Misleading Non-GMO seal

By filing a lawsuit against Nestlé, a woman from California alleged that the US company misleads consumers by using its ‘No GMO ingredients’ seal as it might easily be confused with the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal, reports CBS News

18/08/2018

Core Organic: Europe-wide research for organic farming continues

European research into organic farming is being continued with the Core Organic Cofund programme

09/08/2018

RELACS EU: Project website launched

The EU-project which will be run by FiBL Switzerland as well as IFOAM EU aims at fostering the development and facilitating the adoption of cost-efficient and environmentally safe tools and technologies...

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