The organic farmer representative Grabmann expects the number of farms and areas to stagnate in 2021/22. The demand for organic food will continue to rise, but it cannot be met locally. This could then lead to a certain loss of added value for Austria in international competition, said the organic farmer representative. Grabmann calls for a continuous entry into the organic farmer promotion and further improvements in the current reform of the EU agricultural policy.
Organic in grocery retail
Grabmann was relatively satisfied with the producer prices for organic farmers. The price situation is only “unsatisfactory” for organic grain farmers. The big supermarket chains dominate the local organic market with their own brands “Ja! Natur” (Billa, Merkur), “Natur * pur” (Spar), “Zurück zum Ursprung” (Hofer) and “A good piece of home” (Lidl).
“The food retail trade made organic food big in Austria. This is an almost unique success story worldwide,” said AMA Marketing Director Blass. He hopes that the supermarkets will continue to “deal responsibly” with the organic issue and not start a price war as with conventional foods. Billa recently launched a second own organic brand, “Billa Bio”. The new organic house brand with currently 135 products mainly offers dry goods, fruit and vegetables from abroad as well as convenience products. The organic farmer representative does not expect any major changes for the industry with the new Billa own brand.
The world’s largest organic trade fair Biofach is currently only taking place digitally in Nuremberg from February 17th to 19th due to the corona pandemic. Once again, numerous organic companies from Austria are exhibiting, but this time only in virtual form.