BIOFACH – the world’s largest trade fair for organic and sustainable food – which took place in Nuremberg February 13-16, set a new record with 2 989 exhibitors from 95 different countries. Also, Vivaness, the international event for natural and organic personal care,   saw 3 273 companies from 98 countries exhibited on its 30th edition – more than ever before!

Germany, with 803 exhibitors, was the top exhibiting country, followed by Italy with 402, Spain 202, France 163, the Netherlands 121, and Austria with 104 exhibitors. Botswana and Comoros were present at BIOFACH for the first time.

Over 50 000 visitors attended BIOFACH and VIVANESS and were inspired by new trends and discovered novel products and innovations. There were 696 registered innovations presented at the novelty area, and 25 newcomers and start-ups took part in the “Innovations made in Germany” pavilion.

BIOFACH confirmed that the megatrend this year continues to be vegetarian and vegan food, which saw a total of 1 245 exhibitors. Other trends include protein products, convenience, and zero waste.

OWN talked to exhibitors to learn their thoughts about BIOFACH 2019:

“We decided to participate in BIOFACH because it is the biggest and most international fair in Europe. We thought it would be a good opportunity for our business. It’s also a good chance to see clients and suppliers,” said Patricia Castaño Manotas of Biobetica, an Andalusian company, dedicated to technological development in the food industry for more than 30 years, and organic products for more than 10. 

“We are pioneers in the development and research of new products including a range of chocolate spreads made with extra virgin olive oil and aloe vera juice,” said Ms. Manotas.

“We have been exhibiting at BIOFACH since 2012 because it is the international trade show for all organic professionals,” said Florence Alloёnd-Bessand from Sojami, a French independent family-owned enterprise specializing in 100% organic vegan soy products with soybean Lacto fermentation technology. “This year's edition was good despite fewer customer contacts. BIOFACH remains a beautiful showcase for top organic trends and allows testing products,” said Ms. Alloёnd-Bessand.

 Sojami offers unique vegan products in Europe including an assortment of vegan spreads, coated vegan cheeses, appetizer spreads, lacto fermented tofu blocks, egg-free mayonnaise sauce, lactose-free thick cream, and vegetarian ice cream.

At the Organic Denmark pavilion Pernille Buhl, marketing coordinator at Møllerup Brands A/S & Møllerup Gods, situated at MoellerupEstate, one of the oldest estates in Denmark and largest producer of hemp in Scandinavia said “we are hoping to expand our export market. We are happy with the outcome of the fair, but time will tell if it has led to sales.” The company offers retail products that include salami, bread mixtures, marzipan bread, tea, and beer, all with hemp.

Another producer of organic hemp, Biobloom from Austria, was launching its line of organic hemp cosmetics. “BIOFACH provides a good opportunity to get international contacts which are on the same page as we are,” said Christoph Werdenich. “This year was the second time we exhibited. We are always looking for partners in sales worldwide, so BIOFACH is a good venue to get in contact with possible partners for cooperation.”

At the Russian pavilion, Igor Isichenko, director of technology at Natur Mir said that this was the first time the company was exhibiting at BIOFACH its line of organic fertilizers based on seaweed,  shellfish oilseeds, and molasses. “We visited last year and got an excellent impression and are happy to be exhibiting now. It is a nice place to meet different and interesting people in pleasant surroundings and a warm atmosphere.”  

“BIOFACH is the biggest event for the organic market in Europe, and it is the perfect meeting point for professionals from all over the world. At the trade show, we have the opportunity to meet with many of our customers and to get in contact with international buyers,” said Margherita Balletta, marketing manager at Alara, a UK based company that started in 1975, that has been producing delicious and sustainable foods and now specializes in manufacturing organic and gluten-free goods. Alara is a pioneer and leading firm undertaking numerous projects to improve its environmental performance. Alara’s founder, Alex Smith, is a keen gardener himself and is committed to sustainability: he transformed a derelict piece of land in King’s Cross, London, where the Alara manufacturing site is located, into a beautiful garden producing nearly 80 kinds of edible crops, with a vineyard, an orchard, a community garden and more to come.

“All the Alara products are tasty without compromise,” said Ms. Balleta. “After creating the first recipe for muesli in the UK without added sugar in 1975, in 1988 Alara was the first cereal company in the world to be certified Organic and also the first to be certified Gluten Free in the UK. In 2008 it became the first ”Zero Waste” food company in the UK. Nothing goes to landfill from the factory. ”Those and many other firsts are part of the commitment of Alara to creating delicious, sustainable, pure foods, and to inspire.”

“For us, BIOFACH is the most exciting trade fair of the year not only to meet existing customers and partners but also to make new contacts,” said Julia Huthmann, of the jackfruit company Jacky F.The bustling atmosphere is simply unique! We’re already looking forward to BIOFACH 2020,” said Ms. Huthmann.

Jackfruit is a tasty and exciting meat alternative, and Jacky F is the first organic jackfruit business in Europe. The firm sources the jackfruit from organic agriculture in Sri Lanka.

The Congress at BIOFACH was well attended, with close to 9,500 participants. The theme this year was the organic system: healthy in a holistic approach, with a focus on the connection between organics and health in a comprehensive sense, with in-depth presentations covering topics that add value to organic: biodiversity, soil health, clean water, vigorous plants, animal welfare, and nutritional diets. 

In 2020 the BIOFACH and VIVANESS editions will be held on February 12-15, and will be bigger than ever before!