Austria comes out top at organic trade fair
Austria’s producers came out top in the organic stakes at Nuremberg’s BioFach trade fair over the weekend. The event in Germany which hosted some 2,400 exhibitors, 100 of whom were from Austria, was a roaring success for the country’s organic industry whose products proved hugely popular.
“Here in Germany, the whole world has been very impressed by the quality of our products,” explained Katja Huber from the organic butchers Sonnberg in Upper Austria. Companies from around the world presented their produce at the four-day fair which has long been pioneering the organic sector.
“Organic food is completely established in everyday life in Austria thanks to the producers. The entire marketplace is continually moving upwards,” said managing director of AMA (Agarmarkt Austria Marketing) Dr. Stephan Mikinovic.
The world’s organic industry saw a turnover of 45 billion Euros last year with 21 billion Euros of that in Europe, a 228 per cent increase from the year 2000 all despite economic and financial crisis. “Despite all the talk of saving and crisis, our organic industry has survived well and in fact suffered no significant losses”, said Mikinovic.
The USA and Europe are currently leading the organic market with 10 million hectares of organic farmland being worked in Europe alone. When looking at organic share in relation to available arable land, Austria is a world leader with 20 per cent. Only the Falkland Islands and Liechtenstein have a higher organic share.
Over the course of the last year Austrians spent around 304 million Euros on organic products with fruit, milk and meat products proving popular. The drive from supermarkets to create their own organic lines hugely benefits Austrian farmers, suggested Rudolf Vierbauch from Bio-Austria. “Austria would never have this organic turnover if the chains behind the strategy didn’t promote organic products,” said Vierbauch.
Despite currently being at a lower level, experts predict the areas of Middle and Eastern Europe to have the greatest growth potential in the organic market. Organic turnover in Croatia for example has increased twenty fold in the last six years.
Article excerpted from www.austriantimes.at