News of Organic Industry

Organic Data Network project started

In most countries, organic agriculture and the organic market have been growing constantly for years. Key figures about the development of the organic sector are decisive for policy makers, for economic leaders and as a basis for new investment decisions into the organic industry.

These figures from different European countries haven’t been good enough and sometimes are non existent. To create a new basis for the consistent elaboration of market figures, the EU has granted funds for a new research project called Data network for better European organic market information (OrganicDataNetwork).

A group of 30 researchers and stakeholders of the organic movement came together in Ancona/Italy for a first meeting in March 2012. The participants, representing 15 organisations from different parts of Europe, laid the foundation for the three-year project to harmonise and improve the collection of organic market data in Europe. Six SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) are also taking part in the project.

We are very happy with the outcome and the productive discussions during our first meeting“, said Raffaele Zanoli, the project coordinator of the new EU project. Prof. Zanoli is professor of agricultural economics at the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona.
Along with Prof. Zanoli, Prof. Ulrich Hamm from the German University of Kassel is involved, as well as the renowned Swiss organic research institute FiBL (Dr. Matthias Stolze) and Dr. Susanne Padel and her colleagues from the Organic Research Centre - Elm Farm, the UK's leading independent research institute for organic agriculture.

These four institutions, all of whom have many years of experience in organic market research, represent the core of the project. To have easier access to other countries and to include the practical experience of smaller partners, another 11 companies, universities and organisations are integrated within this EU-project. Altogether the 15 participating partners come from 10 different countries..

""The project OrganicDataNetwork aims to meet the needs of policy makers and actors involved in organic markets by increasing the transparency of the European organic food market through better availability of market intelligence"" stated Professor Zanoli.“

The network will co-operate closely with the European Commission, Eurostat, and statistical offices of the Member States, using existing structures for collecting and processing data on the organic market and stimulating the development of new ones by adapting existing models"", says Dr. Susanne Padel from the UK-based Organic Research Centre - Elm Farm. The partnership will act as a co-ordinating centre between stakeholders, and it will result in a proposal for the establishment of a permanent network to achieve collaboration on statistical issues regarding the organic market.

Joan Picazos from the Spanish manufacturer Biocop commented: “The organic trade in Europe is suffering from a lack of reliable data about the features and the evolution of the markets, and this is affecting especially the small companies, that often have to make decisions without enough information. The EU project OrganicDataNetwork is a brilliant initiative to fill this gap; its structure, bringing together universities, agencies and companies, assures its alignment with the real needs of the organic sector.”


by Press release

Tags:   organic , market 

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