The mission took place from February 9 to 16, 2020. It highlighted Alberta as a supplier of high-quality organic foods, ingredients and personal care products, while increasing export opportunities and potential sales growth for Alberta companies in Europe. Participating companies included exhibitors Arjazon Seeds and Canadian Oats and Milling, as well as walkers Eau Naturale Fragrances, Ellie Bianca and La Vita Commodities.

BIOFACH is the world’s leading trade fair for organic food products, and Vivaness is one of Europe’s most import important natural and organic personal care tradeshows.

AF secured an Alberta exhibition space inside Canada Pavilion on the BIOFACH side while running a stand with information on Alberta agriculture with product displays and promotional materials of companies that were visiting the show and other Alberta organic industry companies that were not able to travel to Nuremberg. The Canadian delegation featured 34 companies including the Canadian Organic Trade Association.

“Germany is the leading organic market in Europe, ranking second in the world just behind the United States,” says Dusan Rnjak, AF’s acting manager for the Americas and Europe team.

“Considering that this was our first mission to the show, we are very pleased to see great interest in Alberta’s products from Europe and other countries, and we definitely look forward to growing our share of this market.”

Alberta companies reported close to $6 million in future sales and around 90 quality trade contacts as a result of show participation. In addition, companies are following up on numerous trade leads.

During the show, the Alberta companies also had the opportunity to discuss export opportunities with the Canadian Trade Commissioners from the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany.

Growth in the organic foods sector in Western countries is propelled by a rising tide of health and eco-conscious consumption. Demand for pulses - chickpeas and legumes - was relatively high throughout the show with many new plant-based products dominating the innovation area. The use of glyphosate in organic products continues to be a major concern for European buyers who demand that all products are regularly tested.

On the personal care side, the show reaffirmed the cosmetics industry’s push towards green trends, with natural and organic brands adopting a number of sustainability initiatives - from packaging to the use of novel plant-based actives and ingredients.

German consumers are educated about claims relating to sustainability, health and labour standards. Organic claims are no longer enough to command premium prices. Consumers are looking for additional claims, such as fair trade, GMO-free and others when making food and beverage purchases.

The overall impression is that Europe represents a great opportunity for Canadian companies with innovative products that are willing to comply with strict EU regulations.

Germany is the largest EU economy and a key market for Alberta food companies with our agri-food exports reaching $58 million in 2019. Alberta agri-food exports to the EU reached $511 million in 2019.

Contact

For more information about this mission and opportunities in the EU, connect with Dusan Rnjak:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-913-8583
Email: dusan.rnjak@gov.ab.ca

For media inquiries about this article, call Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s media line:
Phone: 780-422-1005