The organic sector’s international suppliers and buyers gathered at Nuremberg on 15-18 February for the world's leading trade fair for organic products, BioFach, 2012 and the concurrent Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care and Wellness, Vivaness. O.W.N. spoke with many exhibitors who were happy with enquiries made but felt visitor numbers were down on previous years. The official statistics showed 2,420 exhibitors - international share 70% (2011: 2544) presented their products to 40,313 (2011: 44,592) trade buyers from 130 countries - international share 41%.

According to a survey by an independent institute, 80% of exhibitors and even 95% of visitors to the exhibition duo of BioFach and Vivaness positively assessed their participation at the fair. 93% of the BioFach and Vivaness exhibitors rated their participation as a fair success, and praised the quality of the contacts. 97% and 95% of the BioFach and Vivaness visitors were satisfied with the offer of the fair, 74% at BioFach discovered products to add to the range. About 80% have now been before and in 2013 will travel back to the largest comprehensive view of organic food.

Among the top five countries of the visitors next to Germany (23 592) were Austria (1,606), Italy (1,313), Netherlands (1,218) and France (1,129). At BioFach and Vivaness the industry announced continued growth. The German market grew by 9% in 2011 to 6.59 billion euro and organic products internationally generated nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars.

Despite the financial crisis, the international patron of BioFach, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the national honorary sponsor, federal Organic Food Production (Alliance), were confident of further market growth. Nuremberg Messe also announced that Romania would be Country of the Year at BioFach 2013.

India, the Country of the Year for 2012, inspired many people at BioFach. With 51 exhibitors in the Indian subcontinent, India also impressed with a colorful opening, inspiring fashion shows, a high-level conference program and a variety of culinary delights from the rich bio-material chamber of her home. Dr. Tarun Bajaj, general manager, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA): "We are overjoyed! A very remarkable event, highly professional. India has to offer not only the international organic market much. Now we want India, long after the BioFach as a diverse and credible organic raw land to be remembered."

At the BioFach conference, 8274 conference participants took part in 161 events in 2012. On average, 50 people were interested in each of the individual presentations and panel discussions. Total of 840 visitors were enthusiastic about this year's conference focus Sustainability in the organic movement and the 12 events of the newly established Sustainability Forum.

Vivaness welcomed 26 countries and 204 companies presented at the Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care and Wellness, six manufacturers more than a year ago. Overall, exhibitors occupied 5,000 square meters of Vivaness net area. Besides Germany, with 81 manufacturers strongly represented were France (46) and Italy (27), while the internationality of the exhibitors was 60%. The Vivaness forum is one of eight forums, which complement the priorities and specific topics of the exhibition duo, where 47 top speakers in 14 events inspired 600 visitors. BioFach 2013 will be held from the 13th to 16 February 2013 in Nuremberg.

SIAL Canada returns to the Palais des Congrès in Montréal from May 9-11 and Montreal officially announces the addition of 10,000 square feet to its exhibition area, making the total surface area 175,000 square feet. More than 600 exhibitors from over 40 countries have confirmed their presence at the 2012 edition and over 13,000 professional decision-makers from 60 countries are expected to visit the Salon International de l'Alimentation (International Food Expo), making this a record year for SIAL Canada and SET Canada (the Salon national des Équipements et Technologies en Alimentation).

Mr. Xavier Poncin, director of Sial Canada, states that "Judging from the success of the Toronto trade show last year, and with the growth we announce today, we can confirm that alternating between Montreal and Toronto was without a doubt a huge success!" SIAL Canada is a professional food show and an exceptional platform to keep abreast of the market's business potential, while building bonds between professionals.