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Nordic countries unified at BioFach

Author: Kai Kreuzer

Nordic food is the new gastronomic trend in Europe and the principles behind Nordic cuisine are fully in line with the basic principles of organic farming. There will therefore be a special focus on New Nordic Cuisine when the Nordic Region shows off its best organic foods at the world's largest organic fair, BioFach in Nuremberg that takes place from 16 – 19.2.2011. The Scandinavian countries have a very high internal consumption of organic food, led by Denmark as the worldwide organic champion in per capita consumption. Currently 10 % of the total production of milk and eggs, as well as of the total farmland in Sweden, is organic. (Picture: Organic Denmark stand at BioFach)

 

“The Nordic climate is perfect for growing very special produce, which makes the flavour of the individual ingredients the most important aspect of Nordic cuisine. The focus in Nordic cuisine is on quality, purity and simplicity – getting back to basics and to the original vegetable varieties. All of this harmonises perfectly with the organic movement. This is also true for the principles of seasonal fruit and vegetables and showing consideration for the environment and nature,” explains Hansuno Krisch, Information Officer, Nordic Organics Sweden, which is joining Nordic Organics Sweden, which is joining Organic Food Finland and Organic Denmark at the fair to exhibit products from Nordic organic food manufacturers. (Picture: Weekly market in Malmö)

Things are going very well for organic foods in the Nordic Region. Sales of organic foods in domestic supermarkets and exports of Nordic organic foods are both on the increase. Denmark is the country in the world with the highest per capita sales of organic foods, while the gourmet restaurant Noma, in Copenhagen, with its special focus on New Nordic Cuisine (picture), was crowned in 2010 the best restaurant in the world. So the gastronomic world has really trained its eye on the Nordic countries.

With a spend of 132 euros per inhabitant, Denmark has the highest sales of organic products of any country in the world. Despite the financial crisis, sales of organic products in Denmark have risen constantly. According to Henrik Hindborg, Marketing Manager at Organic Denmark, the reason for this is the consumer’s search for quality products that are healthy and take animal and environmental protection aspects into account. One major success factor is the cooperation between the organic sector and the retail trade. 7.6 % of all products purchased in Denmark are organic.

“We are looking forward to presenting the unique foods that Nordic cuisine has to offer,” says Erkki Pöytäniemi, Export Manager at Organic Food Finland. Among the foods you will find at the Nordic stand are berries, crispbread and aquavit from Sweden, dairy products from Denmark and cereal products, beverages and probiotic products from Finland. The partners for the joint Nordic stand are the Nordic Council of Ministers/Nordisk Mat, Nordic Organics, Sweden/Jordbruksverket, Organic Food Finland, Organic Denmark and the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.

Danish organic export has tripled in four years. Organic Denmark and the organic companies’ joint export promotion has borne fruit, especially in Germany. Despite the credit crunch, Danish organic exports have increased greatly, tripling in the four years from from 2005 to 2009. The value of these exports amounted to DKK 743m in 2009 (100 mill. euros). “This means that the entire organic industry in Denmark is growing because the sale of organic products in Denmark is also growing. Danes are the people in the world who buy the most organic goods, and Denmark has the best developed organic market. Danish companies understand how to make the best of this head start by coming up with new exciting products and by spreading the sales of Danish organic goods to other countries,” says Klaus Bentzen, Export Manager at Organic Denmark. (Picture: Freeland pigs on a Friland farm in Denmark)

Organic Denmark and Danish organic companies have in recent years been behind a number of export promotions, especially in Germany but also in Sweden and France. Germany is the most important export market, since the Germans purchase 45 % of Danish companies’ organic goods. It is dairy products and meat in particular that cross the Danish border to the south.

Some of the major companies which will be present at the joint Nordic stand in Hall 1-300 at BioFach have already been introduced in this article. Denmark will be present with 17 companies, and the list of all companies can be tracked on the website of Organic Denmark. They range from A for Arla, one of the world’s biggest dairy companies, to U for Urtekram (picture), the main wholesaler in Denmark for the specialised sector. The dairy sector is also represented by Thise Mejeri and Naturmaelk and Knuthenlund cheeses, which have won several prizes in the past and whose success continued in 2010. At the 2010 World Cheese Awards in Birmingham, Knuthenlund won two gold medals and one bronze medal. At the stand of Organic Denmark further companies will be present: the wholesaler Solhjulet, the meat companies Rose Poultry and Friland, and Naturfrisk with soft drinks, juices, smoothies, beer and cider.

Nakskov Mill Foods and Skærtoft Mølle produce different types of flour, grain, flakes and bran. The Skee company stands for organic and Fair Trade ice cream without additives. Crispy Foods manufactures muesli products, and Biosa produces organics that contain microorganisms that help to solve a variety of today’s health and environmental problems. Aurion is very focused on using and processing the ancient cereals einkorn, emmer, spelt and durum into flour and flakes, and they also sell them as whole grains. Moreover, Aurion also processes wheat, rye, quinoa, amaranth, barley, oats and salt from Bolivia and manufactures bread, cookies, biscuits, muesli, food for children and chocolate.
(Picture: 30 % of all milk sold in Denmark is organic)

But it’s not only organic food that is produced in Denmark and exported. It does the same with organic ideas! The mission of Kaloe Agricultural College is to educate modern organic farmers for a sustainable future. The vocational courses offer theoretical and practical training.

Finland will be represented by nine companies at the Nordic joint stand. Best known is Helsinki Mills, as one of the leading milling companies in Finland and the market leader in organic flour and flakes on the Finnish retail market and in industrial sales. The Finnish Cheese Company is an international distributor and producer of food and dairy products. Bioferme is an innovative Finnish family-run business that specializes in the development and production of high-quality foods beneficial to health and based on oats, fruit and berries. Keskisen Mills specialises in milling and processing buckwheat. Nordic Koivu produces high-quality birch sap.

The only Norwegian partner on the Nordic stand will be a fish producer and manufacturer. Villa Organic is a unique producer of organic and “Best Practice” eco and animal-welfare- friendly salmon.

Sweden will have 14 exhibitors representing the organic industry in the Scandinavian Kingdom. The foundatioin Stiftelsen Biodynamiska Produkter (picture) has been active in the biodynamic sector since it was launched in 1974. It is completely dedicated to working with and supporting biodynamic producers. Its oldest operation is traditional wholesaling, supplying specialized stores, restaurants and institutional kitchens in Sweden. “Ekolådan is our internet-based home delivery system, supplying households throughout Sweden with fresh fruit and vegetables as well as other products”, says John Gerhard. Lantmännen has been a partner of organic farmers in Sweden since 1990 in developing the organic sector. The company, which belongs to 37,000 Swedish farmers, is the main collector of organic grain in Sweden. Lantmännen exports and imports organic grain and proteins. Moreover, it supplies organic compound feed for the growing organic egg and milk production. Currently 10 % of the total production of milk and eggs in Sweden is organic. A subsidiary of Lantmännen (Sweden) and DLG (Denmark) is UAB Scandagra in Lithuania, which also collects and sells grain.

Renée Voltaire (picture) is an inspiring and unique food innovator. She is self-taught in the kitchen and prepares food dishes in her own special way, which triggers our own sense of creativity. She started her company, Renée Voltaire AB, in 2005 and currently there are more than 100 products bearing her brand name. Many of her high-quality organic products, such as Tamari Almonds, Raw Food Crackers and Buckwheat Crunch, are hand-made in Stockholm and are sold via an internet shop, organic food stores, supermarkets and her own catering company. A Glorious Mix is Renée’s 11th cook book. Her previous book Peace, Love & Food was a huge success and in 2007 was voted “Best vegetarian cook book of the year“ by the Swedish Culinary Institute Grythyttan.

Further Swedish exhibitors are Hard Bread bakery Härjedalsbröd AB, a company owned by Treflex Holding AB and Polarica. Since 2009 the export of long-life bread from Härjedalsbröd to several countries has been underway. Polarica was established in1972 in Sweden, and nowadays the Polarica Group incorporates several companies operating in Sweden, Finland, Poland and Russia. Over the years, Polarica has gained experience and recognition with worldwide sales of berries, game meat and speciality food items. (Picture: Hindborg, Organic Denmark)

Organic rapeseed oil with a butter flavour wil be presented at BioFach 2011 by Rapsodi. Rapsodi®, which bears the German “Bio” seal, and also satisfies the strict regulations of the Swedish KRAV-organization, proves that tasty food and organic food don’t have to be a contradiction. Sweden's largest organic farm is Almnas, where traditional hard cheese and cheese in the style of the middle ages is manufactured.

For more information please contact:
Hansuno Krisch, Sweden +46 8 765 52 60
Erkki Pöytäniemi, Finland +358 50 550 5225
Klaus Bentzen, Denmark +45 21614692

09.02.2011

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