For a long time have been taught that ecological food is better than conventional produced food as conventional means that the producers have over the years used more and more pesticides and more fertilizers to create a more cost effective food production. Some researchers say the positive effect of organic (ecological) food and food production are exaggerated but it seems the market have decided, at least in Northern Europe. Most consumers you talk to today feel there are a relationship between health and well-being with eating more ecological good. Most people agree there are positive effects with organic (ecological) foods as they have less pesticide residues, food additives and pharmaceutical residues.
In Scandinavia during 2015 there was an increase in sales of ecological food products with some 1.6 billion euro, which are some 40-45% increase on total sales. The trend is continuing during 2016 and forwards. One of the largest food retailers and the largest company selling ecological food now is ICA, here above a picture from one store promoting ecological bananas. Fairtrade certified and none certified both ecological. We in Sweden are one of the largest consumers of banana as we eat in average 100 bananas per person and year. This is an important ecological product and all bananas to Sweden and Scandinavia are imported.
Becoming a supplier and partner to large food retailer or whole seller such as ICA is not easy. They prefer not to buy directly from many producers; however they are working both directly and through intermediaries. Whatever business arrangement you have with them they have high demands on quality, social responsibility and environment of the suppliers they work with. If they should consider you as a new one, it is important to offer them both ecological and Fairtrade certified products and these double certificates are expensive. Also all food vendors have to show they can handle volume, reliable supply chain and an approved quality control system.
As these large retailers have high demands on supply chain and quality, as well as documentation and certification. Many producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America cannot comply and therefore not ship to them. There are a well working market with brokers, traders and other intermediaries. If you want to help producers move up the value chain we believe Governments have to step in and coordinate their own market and create Food Export Companies that can comply with these demand, or there are need for producers to cooperate and coordinate their efforts. We have developed such a model and it is called Green Leaf.
We are looking for Government, international organizations or associations of farmers that would be interested to develop themselves better suited to be able to be a partner to the large retailers in Northern Europe. If interested in this model or business with Scandinavia, contact us today to discuss organic and sustainable business.