With more than 840,000 hectares of organic growing, Brazil is one of the top 10 producers of organic products and an important supplier of raw materials, fruits and vegetables, coffee, cocoa, sugar cane and soybeans. The area of organic agriculture in Brazil has more than tripled since 2001 (275.000 ha) and recorded significant increases in exports in the domestic market. With a decree of the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, aims to implement over the next two years new regulations for the organic sector we interviewed Maria Beatriz Costa, director of the organization Orgânico Planet, about the new legislation, market developments and expectations for 2008.
From 23rd to October 25rh, 2008, São Paulo, the largest industrial headquarters of Brazil, will again be the meeting point of the organic sector in Latin America and internationally. ExpoSustentat presented for the fourth time parallel to BioFach América Latina and its products and projects related to the issue of sustainability. Promote these two rooms subsidiary of NürnbergMesse, Nürnberg Global Fairs, along with Organic Services and its partner in Brazil, the organization Orgânico Planet.
Miss Costa, what do you expect from the new environmental legislation?
This new legislation will undoubtedly impact positively on the development of national and ecological market exports. Both producers and processors will be more motivated, since many of them were waiting for legal regulations for the organic sector. There is a law since 2003 but has not yet been implemented. The system that is now available guidelines for private organizations, international bodies such as certification, works very well. However, for industry and consumers is important for the future that there is a state seal. I am sure that will soon be integrated into the Brazilian market many new businesses. BioFach América Latina will be held for the sixth time in October 2008 and offers an international platform for both established companies in the organic market as new companies wishing to identify and target what are the possibilities in the market.
The market needs a reliable database to be able to evolve, and so far it was difficult to obtain insurance.
This situation will also change with new laws. The Ministry of Culture and recorded in the future collect all data on the areas of culture and adaptation to organic farming on livestock numbers and sales figures. To develop the organic sector is urgently needed and that reliable data were available until now only estimates and considerations of market sectors, which often bring misconceptions and insecurities.
What is the current volume of the organic sector in Brazil?
I would prefer outside the Ministry to publish the market data. However, market observers know that many large supermarket chains like Wal-Mart or Pão Açúcar are registering a significant growth of turnover, especially in the fresh produce. Wal-Mart has increased by 50% its supply of organic products and reports that the increased turnover is 25% compared to 2006. It is also noteworthy that increasing the consumption of organic products in the market for food away from home. This is due to the efforts of law carried out in different Brazilian states.
What are your views on the sector of large consumers and food? What have you done so far and what incentives the state could create to promote this development?
The theme of food in schools is very important to me personally. I think there is a huge potential for catering companies, restaurants and school kitchens. The State of São Paulo has decreed legal regulations to promote organic food in schools and government of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo have undertaken similar initiatives. Food in schools is playing an increasingly important role in the distribution of organic products and organic market development. Through schools we go to the consumers of tomorrow and start a new food culture and knowledge of food quality. In the segment of consumers is creating a continuous demand, which is planning certainty for suppliers. BioFach Latin America has always pushed this issue and was also in 2007 had a large number of exhibitors who had great special offers for consumers. It was also a theme of the program. Dr. Carola Strassner with many years of experience in the organic food outside the home, now a professor at the University of Münster, reported in detail to the public on this topic at the fairs.
What are the main themes in the 2008 edition of BioFach América Latina and ExpoSustentat
In 2007 we had the opportunity to make many new contacts and promote many promising projects. I am convinced that there is a great motivation within this sector. In addition, the entry into force of the new law also will drive the market. An initiative relating to the certificate of origin of products will be an important program of the announcement of this year. Increasing consumer interest in knowing the origin of the products they buy and what organizations they support. The comprehensive system of traceability of organic products, which works very well, it simplifies the implementation of the license. In my opinion, these additional statements can further increase the value of organic products. The same goes, obviously, the products of sustainable projects, which are revalued significantly with the certificate of origin. This product segment will be presented at Expo Sustentat. BioFach Latin America, held in parallel, a contest is reserved for products from sustainable production and fair trade, but still lack an ecological certification. I look forward eagerly to the conclusion of these two rooms next October, to greet the visitors and exhibitors from around the world in São Paulo.