After the 2018 break, 2019 gets off to a flying start
2018 was the time of the great maneuvers; both at suppliers level than manufacturers as well as the networks of distributors.
An over all new deal with the big retailers eager to take the stake of the organic cake; mergers of distributors in Italy, Scandinavia, etc … This was combined with a pause in market growth.
As a result, many operators have suspended or delayed their projects.
2019, we make up for lost time
This is the clear trend that emerges from this Biofach 2019.
We have witnessed a binge of projects from distributors eager for innovation, expansion of range and launch of new projects.
On their side, French manufacturers were not left out; in terms of industrial investments and R & D.
Supply and demand being set at the same tempo, it is highly likely that this year 2019 will be memorable.
In Denmark, the european country with the highest quality of life, quality food should be organic
Whether it is the retail channels or catering in the broad sense, the demand of the informed consumer and demanding a healthy and gourmet diet is now henceforth mainly on organic food.
Far from being confined to those specific to an economic and cultural elite, organic food irrigates all distribution channels; from the Netto discounter to the delicatessen; from school canteen to Tivoli leisure parks and hospitals.
Bio is no longer a marginal mode of diet in rich countries
Fashion phenomenon or late ecological and climatological awareness; undoubtedly a combination of both,organic food knows in every so-called rich countries a double-digit growth that nothing seems to slow down.
From a mode of food consumption to a civilizational phenomenon
So, in rich countries; the diet becomes a carrier of both a health marker – we are what we eat – and a symbolic marker – what I eat contributes to my personal ethics; even define it.
In these conditions, eating Bio is both a matter of rising individually in the social body and of militating collectively for a virtuous evolution of the human race.
It is in this sense that one can speak of a civilizational current.
Will this current prevail over others, mortiferous? That’s the whole point.
Growth & race for innovation
NATEXPO, the perfect showcase of the domestic organic market. There was a shared optimism; most manufactuers are in the process of significant expansion or doubling their production capacity in 2018. Growth is the key word, and we are witnessing a real race for innovation.
French organic focuses on the organoleptic and taste qualities of organic foods
It is clear that the French Bio is well seized of its differentiating and “cultural” know-how and seeks to widen the gap with the competition by the organoleptic and taste qualities of the products. This is his interest and his main asset.
Concentration and fertility of the entrepreneurial fabric
In addition, there is an acceleration in the concentrations of SMEs (i.e. Léa Nature) and the positions taken by the conventional CAC 40 agri-food in the organic sector (i.e. participation in Yooji by Danone) as well as the fertility of the entrepreneurial ground which in a few years generates organic SMEs with more than 5 million euros of turnover (i.e. Biogroup).
Sanctuarize the values of the French Bio
There is no doubt that we are witnessing a unique phenomenon in the IAA whose durability will depend on the ability of its historical actors not only to conserve; but to sanstiarize the values that presided over the founding of the French Bio, which is a pioneer in the world.
Why using Private labeling to export?
It is a choice that is necessary for the SME which does not have the tools nor the financial means to promote its brand abroad. That is why it is in its best interests to take advantage of the established reputation of a local brand in line with the nature of its product.
Here, the chosen brand is that of the pioneer (creation 1985) of Bio distribution in Finland. This brand promotes legitimacy and notoriety without which the manufacturer of the product will not be visible in the marketplace.
A sustainable partnership
In doing so, the SME brings to its partner, in exchange for a strong brand, distinctive know-how, technicality and even innovation. So many barriers to market entry for the competition. That is why, from this reciprocity, there is a partnership that gives itself every chance of being sustainable.
Exporting French bio
It is a proven fact that any food product manufactured in France by an SME is felt abroad as being more expensive than its “me-too” domestic or from any other provenance. On the one hand, it is an economic reality that production in France is “expensive”. A paradox when our productivity is the highest in Europe within the food industry. It is our ecosystem that is not competitive. Namely the normative, administrative, social and fiscal obstacles.
In its 27th edition, Biofach the worldwide major organic fair has just ended. There is a long way since 197 exhibitors in the Stadthalle in Ludwigshafen received 2,500 visitors at the “1st European Fair of Organic and Natural Products”. Since 1999, Biofach has been held in Nuremberg and this year attracted 1,76 exhibitors and welcomed more than 21,000 visitors, half of them foreigners to Germany.
Strong market trends
It is enough to activate the Exhibitor link on Biofach website to get a general idea of the heaviest trends of the market. Thus Veganism and Vegetarianism with respectively 1475 and 1395 produced proposals still hold the upper hand with the gluten-free (1475), followed by lactose (1053) and Raw Foodism (551).
The master trump of the French Bio, the taste
However, these very “trendy” dietary practices should not hide the essential motivation of a mature Bio consumer. He is young, educated, seeking both pleasure and nutritional excellence. It is precisely here that French gastronomic know-how finds a natural ground of expression, has a card to play; a master trump.
I mention here our excellent organic manufacturers SME’s, ethical and opportunistic at the same time; flexible and above all INNOVATIVE that seek above all to be distinctive the french way. A frenchie organic product has to be SAVOROUS, to give pleasure to the one who receives it. In a fast growing market, hungry for innovations and therefore new flavors distinguishes the French food industry. Because it has developed a traditional know-how often attached to a soil, a Terroir” – a raw material chain – in a succulent palette of organic foods, diversified, innovative, playful. Especially since this traditional know-how is often coupled with a mastery and often innovations servicing a production respectful of the nobility of the raw materials.
Exporting, many Considerable opportunities to jump at
This is how a french manufacturer of organic legume pasta is distinguished by the 1st prize in its category in … Italy! That a Breton pastry chef win for the 3rd time the price of the best organic gingerbread, a specialty not necessarily French. The list is long.
Therefore, this unique know-how combining tradition and hi-tec must take maximum advantage of an ultra-dynamic global organic market.
It opens for a time a highway of development abroad that it is necessary to borrow by forced march before it closes or else is marked out with very expensive tolls and market entry costs.
Exporting organic gluten-free pastas to Italy is a challenge!
And yet, in just two years, sales reached the symbolic level of one million euros at our Italian distributor.
A quality recognized by the profession and rewarded
Indeed, it is marketed with the private brand BENE BIO of our Italian distributor that the French legumes pastas have won the prestigious first prize of their category during the organic fair SANA in 2016.
The success of genuine technical know-how
Indeed a proof of the extraordinary know-how of this Provençal SME. It has developed a manufacturing process adapted to the legume flours – lentils, chickpeas, etc. -. These are more complex to process than the gluten ones. And in fact Italy, happens to be behind Germany, the 2nd largest export market of the french manufacturer.
Success through Innovation
In order to reinforce this position, the pasta company intends to maintain its place on the Italian marketplace thanks to innovations. At the Biofach exhibition, she presented new pasta formats made of brand new raw material combinations.
The Temptation of Travel
All started from Biofach 2016. When Guy Deberdt,Kaoka’s CEO, invited me to join him on his next mission to follow up the Kaoka’s organic fair-trade cocoa plantations in São Tomé (Equatorial Africa, Gulf of Guinea). I hesitate a bit. Indeed, an entire week, disconnected, on this micro lost island, seems to me an eternity. Can I afford this luxury? Finally, I am tempted because I am very involved in my mission of export development for Kaoka. For many years I have promoted these fair trade organic chocolates in Europe, Canada and the USA. Moreover, I am thirsty to know the source of the delicious cocoa. In a way I owe this to the men and women who are at the origin of my personal commitment to Kaoka.
The paradoxical santoméen, the “Léve Léve”
From the airport terminal – in fact a cramped and old-fashioned shed – where we disembark at nightfall I feel a delicious sensation invading me. Obvioulsy I have already met different Afro communities in Martinique, Brazil, Reunion. But I never felt this strange and paradoxical breath, grave and joyous at the same time. It is that of a fatalistic people but animated by an unshakeable faith in its destiny. We are dealing here with the santomean paradoxical.
An art of living and seeing beyond the actual moment, which never brag or waste the present. Serious but never sad. Very quickly I am told that a local expression characterizes it; “Léve Léve” which means simply “quiet quietly, gently”. The tempo of santomean is a slow slowness, in the sense of taking the time, one feels it in contact with each SANTOMEAN.
Cocoa plantation communities
Our stay is essentially devoted to visiting some of the 37 Communities that bring together the family plantations that provide the cocoa needed for our organic -Fair Trade Chocolates. These are plots of an average one hectare which produce the precious beans of the santomean cocoa. We will also visit the Kaoka’s community infrastructures, which are constantly improving. From the day after our arrival, on a Saturday, we carry on with the plantations visits from 9 am in the morning to dusk. At the end of long and fast pick-up trips on rough roads, we take rough and wet tracks up to the producers’ communities. These then lead us on to their cocoa plots.
The virtuous circle of the Co-Development of the Organic Fair-Trade Chocolates
This is where we meet the teams of farmers supervised by santomean social-technicians. They were trained by Kaoka in Ecuador on the cutting-edge techniques of plant breeding, grafting, cloning and organic tree management. Consider that in fifteen years some of the most motivated producers have seen their production per hectare go from 200 kg to 1200 kg, and their income increased accordingly with guaranteed prices. Abandoned plots have been restored providing incomes to whole families who have regained dignity. The most valiant converts the others, under the impulse of its flamboyant director Antonio Dias, the Kaoka Cooperative, CECAB, is enriched every day with new contributors.
The mad challenge of André Deberdt: resurrecting Chocolate Island
Because Sao Tome & Principe comes back from afar. Since the departure of the Portuguese in 1975 the archipelago has sank into misery until becoming one of the poorest countries in the world. A crowning achievement for this very young republics which was once the world’s largest cocoa producer known as the Chocolate Island. In 2001, André Deberdt, the creator of KAOKA who disappeared in 2012 as a malaria victim, launched a superhuman challenge: to restructure this abandoned sector and to revive the production of a high-quality cocoa, in addition to Bio. It starts from scratch.
A bet masterly won
In the end, fifteen years later, 37 producer associations representing 2051 families operating 4,400 hectares were grouped together in a Chocolate cooperative. This cooperative has become the first exporting structure of the country, all products combined, not only food! This Organic / Trade-Fair program is even cited as an example by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the IFAD a UN agency that supported it.
Sunday is devoted to the visit of the island. Already I find myself letting be carried. First of all, thanks to Sébastien’s – our Quality & Supply Chain Manager – island intimate knowledge, who lived there for several years, and then by the “Léve Léve” santoméen. But also and above all, over kilometers by the unspoiled beauty of the landscapes crossed. All in splendor the island is gradually revealed.
Sao-Tomé, original paradise?
And what an island! Alternately; Jagged in wild creeks beaten by the fierce Atlantic, fleece-lined with vegetable luxuriance, wadded with mossed taffetas by vapors and clouds, or hemmed with inviolate beaches, on which only the languid palm trees are watched. Drunkenness of the divine aromas when we cross a forest of Ylang Ylang. Powerful effluents diffused by the equatorial moisture. Power of the elements finally, when suddenly falls on our caravan a deluge released by a polished steel zenith zebras … Which rushes us into a cabin where on a wood fire a delicious “goldfish” caught the day and an icy Rosema, the local beer are expecting us!