Organic food: Anything but in crisis?
What is the current mood in the organic sector? Are there new partnerships and changes on the market? This is how managing directors of Naturland Zeichen GmbH assess the situation on the organic market:
Dear Naturland farmers,
We are all going through turbulent times together at the moment. First Corona and now the terrible war in Ukraine, which not only concerns us all, but also increasingly affects us in a very concrete way: disrupted supply chains, exploding energy prices, galloping inflation, partly fuelled by speculation. All of this is causing uncertainty among businesses and consumers.
All in all, many good reasons to become pessimistic. And many do so. Last but not least some voices in the German media are already starting to conjure up the next organic crisis. It is even more important to take a closer look and not to be alarmed. What seems clear: organic is not in crisis! We are experiencing a general economic crisis, which is also affecting the organic sector to varying degrees.
At the same time, however, the unique strengths of organic are proving their worth right now: we are not dependent on energy-intensive fertilisers and pesticides and have many functioning, regional supply chains. Organic prices are rising more moderately than those for conventional food. Simultaneously, sales declines in the organic sector are smaller overall; essentially they are going back to the level before the Corona boom. However, purchases are shifting: people continue to buy organic, but they currently prefer to do so at discounters or reach for cheaper private labels.
Of course, it will be of little consolation to the organic grocer, who has to struggle with considerable losses in sales, when the discounter on the outskirts of the city even records increases in organic sales. All in all, however, the figures show that consumers continue to trust in organic food. And that should give us cause for confidence - despite all the current difficulties.
We are also confident because trade continues to place undiminished emphasis on organic products in Naturland quality. This can be clearly seen in the number of Naturland certified products, which has increased by more than 40 percent in the past two years! Mind you, we are not talking about sales, where organic products experienced a boom during the two pandemic years, which is now over. We are talking about products that have been newly introduced to the market, i.e. that indicate a longer-term trend.
At the same time, we are continuously expanding Naturland's trade partnerships and thus opening up new sales channels for your products. Just a few key words: The German retailer EDEKA will in future also use Naturland for its own brand "Naturkind", which is also on the shelves at Edeka- subsidiary Netto. The REWE group of companies will extend its partnership with Naturland to its discounter Penny. The "Bio-Zentrale", a brand for food retailers, will increasingly include products certified by Naturland. And last but not least, the discounter Aldi will launch a new organic brand with Naturland's logo in the course of the coming year.
In addition, talks with several prospective partners in retail are in some cases close to being concluded. And progress is also being made in the catering sector. For example, the gastronomy at the legendary Nockherberg in Munich is now Naturland certified.
So you see: as painful as the current crisis may be, there are good reasons to look forward with confidence. Together we are now laying the foundation for a strong future development of Naturland.
Martina Romanski and Michael Stienen, Management Naturland Zeichen GmbH
This text is a translation. No guarantee can be given for the correctness.