Like many sectors, the food sector has been particularly hard hit by the current economic environment. Crises are occurring one after another and even overlapping, affecting production, supplies and consumption habits.

The transition to which everyone has been alluding over the past decade is now becoming urgent in view of environmental challenges.

The organic sector is also affected by market chaos and is not spared by supply chain problems… yet organic farming is actually part of the solution.

Organic sector

Every cloud has a silver lining

In every sector, the situation is alarming. Production costs are increasing due to the energy crisis, containers are being delayed, there are shortages of raw materials, packaging and machine components, along with the prospect of future crop failures. Nobody can claim to have any visibility of what the coming months will bring. All the indicators are at red, and food, like all other basic resources, is set to become a precious commodity.

The levers of the transition, developed and supported by more and more players, are taking on their full meaning, now more than ever. We can find glimmers of hope in reshoring, anti-waste solutions, package-free products, social and environmental commitments, etc. 

Natexpo has reflected this for over 60 years, with organic players committed to more sustainable food and consumption.

The practices advocated by organic farming, which initiated the agricultural and food transition 50 years ago, are now rising to the challenges of protecting the environment in face of a climate emergency. It is the only alternative path, governed by strict regulations, that provides consumers with quality guarantees for health and for the planet.

Beyond the basic principles, everyone involved is increasingly committed, on all fronts.

Producer organic sector

Reshoring everywhere

Naturally, “reshoring” is the current buzzword. In recent years, many original channels have emerged in France, such as quinoa or chia (see Agrofün or Worlée France), goji berry or sea buckthorn, to name just a few. Trials are being conducted on tea and vanilla, for example. Processing facilities are also being relocated, such as the redeployment of organic beet sugar production in the North of France, or the local freezing factory for organic vegetables by FRDP.

In view of the war in Ukraine, there are now prospects of reshoring more crops such as sunflower and rape. But this national or European reshoring exercise will soon reach its limits in terms of arable land and due to lack of farmers.

Reshoring is also happening astutely beyond our borders. There are many examples of processing sites installed close to where crops are harvested, which helps keeps value in the local area. For example, the cashew nuts vertical in Burkina Faso, oil mills in Ethiopia, such as Tradin Organic, or tropical fruit in Amazonia (see the investment of RDV Products for the Agrifrut cooperative. Fair Trade is naturally a strong tool through which to accompany projects.


Integrating CSR and biodiversity

Fair trade indeed often supports projects linked to improving or protecting the environment. It is closely linked, for example, to agroforestry projects in which organic chocolate-makers such as Kaoka are investing.

It is also encouraging to see that players are using CSR tools to constantly question themselves and improve their practices. Such tools are becoming increasingly stringent. The BioED CSR label, developed by Synabio, is now accompanied by the Biodiversity guide, for our local and imported channels.

The most advanced companies are already integrating their practices on their sites and/or in their agricultural channels, such as Adatris, which, with others, is behind the BiodiScore indicator. This measures the impact of organic farming on biodiversity.

Organic sector biodiversity

Recycling all waste

Finally, initiatives to fight waste and to recycle by-products[1] are numerous, meeting two challenges: identifying and recovering by-products and rejected products, and finding high value-added outlets for them. The ingredient sector was already well-structured to recover its by-products and is now extending its expertise to farmers and co-operatives, which often have staggering amounts of wastage. A few months ago, for example, Rouages initiated a partnership with a Corsican co-operative to use the by-products from making citrus fruit juice to develop its range of intense flavoured infusions.


Organic: resilient through Quality

Through our work at the interface between production and processing, we can measure the unstinting commitment of organic players and their constant search for solutions to go further in offering healthy and sustainable ingredients for everyone, by exploring every lever – fair trade, biodiversity, anti-waste, animal welfare, forest conservation, etc. Despite the difficulties and the fact that organic produce is not immune to everything, one word always stands out: Quality.

We must always keep in mind that the years to come will consist of many challenges to be overcome. Organic farming already preserves quality… of our products, our health, our environment, our trading, and our lives.


Author: Gaëlle FREMONT, Founder of Ingrébio


[1] Les coproduits, solution innovante pour répondre aux enjeux nutritionnels et écologiques, Natexbio, 24/03/2022