The Netherlands was BIOFACH 2015 Country of the Year with Hall 5 showing off the amazing diversity and innovation of Dutch companies where you could source just about everything a manufacturer or retailer would need, organic, sustainable and fairly traded goods produced or sourced in the Netherlands.

The displays included organic chocolate; nut and chocolate spreads; gluten free foods and beverages; a huge range of Ancient grain products, especially quinoa foods; tea and coffee; chilled foods to go/meal replacements; grains and wholefoods; oils; fresh produce; and sustainable/recyclable packaging.

According to the show organisers, some 99 exhibitors presented products from the Netherlands at BIOFACH this year to trade visitors from across the globe.

Sharon Dijksma, the agriculture minister of the Netherlands, said: “I am proud of how the Dutch organic farming industry was portrayed by its companies at this year’s BIOFACH in keeping with the slogan ‘Quality grows in Holland’.

“The combination of entrepreneurial spirit, quality, innovation and sustainability showed the strength of Dutch agriculture, which was represented by a record number of companies taking part in BIOFACH this year. I am also proud to have presented a current innovation at BIOFACH: the EcoDome, which revealed how ecology has been combined with innovations and the latest sustainability themes.”

OWN spoke to Dutch exhibitors in Hall 5 and across other fair areas and all were pleased with the buyer response.

At quinoa foods company Nature Crops, the Netherlands, Cedric Bleuset said BIOFACH has been a very good show and was very busy mainly on the first two days“ We’re really happy with the show. The quality of the buyers was good.”

The booth at Lovechock Raw chocolate 40gm bars and Rocks, which won a best New Product Award, had a great visitor response. Founder Laura de Nooijer said during BIOFACH’s four days is great to network and exchange ideas with distributors, retailers and customers.

Commercial director cocoa at Crown of Holland Rafal Taciak said that this year’s edition of BIOFACH was very successful for the company’s new cocoa facility, Crown of Holland. “As it has been producing for over one year now and gained good recognition on the market, the possibilities of co-operation attracted attention of both beans suppliers and cocoa products buyers and we noticed increased interest in creating short and longer term toll processing agreements.”

At organic industry group Bionext, communications manager Jasper Vink said that Biofach 2015 was a very successful edition for the Dutch, with over 100 exhibitors.

“The companies were very pleased that there was so much interest in organic products from Holland. The visit of our Minister for Agriculture, Sharon Dijksma, and the German Minister for Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, was of course very helpful,” Mr Vink said.

“Minister Dijksma was also one of the keynote speakers at the opening and at the seminar that Bionext organised in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.”

OWN feedback about the party found it was one of the best in recent years, with good food and atmosphere. “No long queues and fine music”, added Mr Vink.The latest figures from the Bionext organic industry association show that the export of Dutch organic products, which comprise 3.600 businesses amounted to 928 million euros in 2014, grew strongly by 11% compared to 2013, which was announced by Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma.

“Other countries enjoy our organic carrots, tomatoes, cheese, eggs and cereals,” Minister Dijksma said. “Sales of organic products have risen by 100 million euros and with good reason. Consumers increasingly want products where the focus is on animal welfare, nature and the environment.

“Sustainable, green development and our businesses can respond to that demand – because in the Netherlands we cultivate quality.”