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Eastern Europe – Satiating hunger with organics

The world is going organic; and Europe is also progressively embracing the healthy products, particularly Eastern Europe is steadily making its place in the world organic market.

In 2006, the western countries of EU and US held a 96% stake in the global sales of organics. Most importantly, eastern countries of Europe are increasingly discovering the advantages of organic products. The fostering world organic industry stood at an estimated value of €33 billion ($43 billion) last year. The Eastern European nations, once famous for their industrial chaos and old apartment blocs, even though accounted for a small part of the huge organic market but the production of organics (crops and goods) in that region has been rising steadily. Rising incomes and increasing environmental awareness are leading to the emergence of domestic markets in the Eastern Europe. Industry experts say that the Czech Republic and Poland, trailed by Hungary, enjoy the biggest domestic markets for organic greens.

Managing Director of the Czech Organic Retailers Association PRO-BIO, Tom Vaclavik, said in a statement reported on March 19, 2007 by Fresh Plaza, that the Czech customers had expended around €18 million on organic products in 2006. Vaclavik also said that during 2005-2006, the market had swelled by 80% and the larger cities are particularly fueling the demand. In the coming three years, the market is expected to grow by triple-fold. However, this scenario shows that the local organic production hadn’t been able to keep pace with the demand. Hence, organics were generally imported, specifically processed ones. As per Vaclavik, the organic market in Eastern Europe was still going through its initial stages and therefore, it makes a good sector for investment now.

According to the RNCOS report „European Organic Food Market”, the principal factors providing the impetus for growth of organic food and beverages industry are rising health awareness and growing concern over environmental issues in most of the Europe, US, Japan, Australia, and other parts of the first world. The market research report presents a clear picture of the European organic market. All the major European countries, like UK, Germany, Belgium, Czech, Italy, France, etc, have been discussed in detail coupled with segmented analysis on products, demand and supply, imports and exports, organic farming scenario, and consumer behavior, supported with graphs and tables. The report also talks about the government support in distinct markets, quality certification system, and international standards followed in Europe. Future forecast of European organic market will help the potential investors to analyze the investment opportunities in the market. (