Germany is set to step up moves to support the organics sector by calling for tender requirements for food supplies to public facilities to including “binding” quotas in favour of organic products.
Federal food and agriculture minister Christian Schmidt told the Westfaelische Rundschau : “My goal is that in the future at least 20% of the meals in public facilities will consist of organic products.”
Schmidt said the federal government would work with individual states to set “binding quotas for the purchase of organic products” – in line with government plans to increase federal funding to establish organic farms on some 20% of all land designated for agricultural use across the country.
Meanwhile, Schmidt welcomed the findings of a new “eco-barometer” survey, commissioned by his ministry, which indicated “purchases of organic food have become a matter of course” for many German consumers.
According to the survey, nearly one quarter (22%) of respondents said they buy organic products “frequently or even exclusively”. Almost half (49%) of respondents said they bought organic products occasionally.
The survey reported growing support for more organic products to be available on the menus of canteens and restaurants at public facilities such as sports halls, schools and care homes.
Of those surveyed, “96% would be willing to pay an extra charge” if organic foods were on the menu, the survey said. Around 14% of respondents “would even consider a price mark-up of more than EUR2 (US$2.12) to be appropriate” for organic food products.
Earlier this year, just-food reported the most significant markets for organic products in Europe are in western and northern Europe, with Germany, France and the UK the three largest markets, with each growing solidly. In 2015, sales of organic food and drink grew 11% in Germany.