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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 26, 2012
Business & Economy
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Organic Food in Demand
January 26, 2012   
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Organic and environmentally friendly products, including food, cosmetics and clothing, are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. The trend has reached Poland, presenting the country with an opportunity to become a top organic food producer.

According to the Organic Monitor consulting agency, customers around the world bought organic products worth a total of $59 billion last year. North America is the world’s largest retail market for such products and outclasses even Europe in this department. Organic farming in the EU occupies almost 9 million hectares, or 5 percent of all cultivated land. Spain tops the European statistics at 1.5 million hectares of organic crops, ahead of Italy (1.1 million hectares), Germany (0.99 million) and France (0.85 million).

Organic farming—food production using only natural methods in a clean and safe environment without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or genetically modified organisms—is emerging as an increasingly important segment of the food and agriculture sector in many countries, Poland included. Back in 2002, organic farming accounted for 0.3 percent of all cultivated land in Poland and has since increased to 2.8 percent.

Poland owes the significant growth of its organic farming sector to efforts undertaken by many different communities and financial aid from public funds and the EU. When Poland entered the EU in 2004 it had less than 4,000 certified organic food producers, whereas by the end of 2010, the figure had risen to around 20,000.

Alongside certified organic farms, Poland has a lot of small farms which do not use intensive farming based on industrial technology and the excessive use of chemicals.

Polish organic food has been embraced by many countries and may become even more popular thanks to events such as the BioFach fair in Nuremberg, Germany, which is the world’s largest organic products trade fair. It is held simultaneously with the Vivaness natural cosmetics and wellness products fair and every year, the two events bring together trade insiders from across the globe. The idea behind the BioFach fair is to promote sustainable development in the food economy based on biological and organic farming and food production methods along with healthy lifestyles. This year’s BioFach and Vivaness fairs will be held Feb. 15-18. The organizers of the two events are expecting 2,500 exhibitors and 44,000 visitors.
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