Organic food sector stagnates amid tough economy

Organic food sector stagnates amid tough economy
Photo: DPA
Germany's organic food market, far and away Europe's largest, was stagnant in 2009 after years of stellar growth but still outperformed the wider food market, a trade organisation said Wednesday.

Estimated turnover in the sector amounted to around €5.85 billion ($8.52 billion), roughly the same or even slightly less than last year, the federation for organic foodstuffs (BOELW) said in a press release.

“The reason is that discount supermarkets are cutting their prices and reducing their range of products,” said Hans-Christoph Behr from the agricultural information company (AMI).

Nevertheless, as a comparison, the total food market shrank by 2.4 percent as Germany, Europe’s largest economy, suffered its worst recession since World War II.

According to 2008 BOELW figures, the market for organic foods in Germany was comfortably the largest in Europe, worth more than twice its closest rival Britain.

The sector enjoyed a prolific decade from 2000, as interest in environmental issues and healthier eating boomed, with double-digit growth in every year apart from 2003, where turnover grew by three percent.

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