Midsummer shopping shows us how important ecological and fair traded goods are to consumers in Scandinavia. Tomorrow we here in Sweden will celebrate Midsummer, a very important holiday that are included mention in early Icelandic (Viking) tales but also written about by the priest and diplomat Olaus Magnus in 1555 as he describes this holiday in a document about Nordic peoples life and traditions. Most likely Midsummer developed as a harvest celebration; today in modern life we celebrate the start of summer vacation. For farmers Midsummer is a good period during the year to take time and celebrate as land is already prepared but harvest period has not yet really started. It is a time where farmers have finished giving to the land, and now the land will start giving back, as the time for harvest in Sweden starts.
Important on the Midsummer table is herring, salmon, potatoes, some barbeques meat and for desert something with strawberries. When we now shop for this weekend we can see how most stores promote more local grown and ecological. This is a strong trend in the whole of northern Europe but especially in Sweden and Scandinavia. Actually Swedes alone consume some 540.000 metric tons of potatoes and during one year we will eat some 14.000 metric tons of strawberries where about half of that is imported.
The total food market is valued to just over 30 billion euro in Sweden include hospitality and hotels. According to retailers ecological sales of food and drink are growing with some 40-50% and it shows in all the food stores in Scandinavia. This is an excellent opportunity for many producers in Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. They can use organic practises to produce their products but at the same time they need to increase volume and reliability in their supply chain along with offering certifications for both organic and fair trade. We here in Scandinavia are prepared to pay more for quality products that has been produced organically and sold fairly.
Agribusiness is also an area we work with as business consultant. If you are interested to develop better agribusiness with Scandinavia, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.
Happy Midsummer and welcome to visit Sweden and experiences this by yourself.