India is preparing to become the most important organic producer and a large consumer region. So the time is ripe for international organic players – producers as well as traders – to develop the Indian market.
India invites the organic experts to meet in Bangalore
In 2010, over 100 exhibitors and 2,860 trade visitors travelled to the only exhibition for certified organic products on the Indian subcontinent, BioFach India together with India Organic, which takes place next time in Bangalore from 10–12 November 2011.
- But what is necessary for a successful market entry and exhibition presence?
- What support do interested companies receive on the ground?
- And what products are particularly in demand?
Interview with Sonia Prashar, who together with her team at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce provides local support for the organizer of BioFach India.
What should a company wanting to develop the Indian organic market know?
The domestic consumption of organic food is still comparatively small, but with the growing health awareness of consumers the segment shows good potential for expansion with excellent prospects for the players in this branch of industry. Now is exactly the right time to enter the market. India’s organic sector is growing just like the consumer base.
The major reason for a commitment in India is the noticeable growth in the consumption of organic food. Clear proof of this is the opening of many new shops. Today, every large Indian city has many organic food shops and restaurants and a growing number of supermarkets with an organic food department. Interested companies should certainly examine the Indian import regulations in advance – and as early as possible!
It is also essential to consider the special cultural and religious aspects for a successful involvement in the market. These often influence the market prospects of imported products.
How is the Indian organic market currently structured?
Agencies dealing with supply chain management and sales are strongly represented. There is also a clear connection between market growth and the development of retail sales outlets like supermarkets and shops selling exclusively organic products. India is an important organic marketplace and at the same time a valuable supplier of certified organic raw materials for the international food industry.
It is to be expected that India will not only be one of the major producers of organic food in the near future, but also one of the consumers. Also remarkable are the many government initiatives for promoting the Indian organic sector. One good example of these is the support provided for BioFach India together with India Organic 2011 by the Ministry of Agriculture of the state of Karnataka.
What promotion measures exist for the Indian organic sector?
In general, organic agriculture in India is promoted very strongly by the government, which has recently started a wide range of initiatives. For example, the whole certification programme for small and very small farms or cooperatives is financially supported by programmes of the Indian Ministry of Agriculture.
The authority and official Indian export promotion organization APEDA which reports to the Ministry of Commerce, remains the central agency for promoting organic trade. The whole certification programme is controlled at state level by 20accredited bodies. The National Steering Committee chaired by the Commerce Minister has planned and approved the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), from which national standards have been developed. This programme also includes the Accreditation Programme for Certification Authorities, standards for organic production and the promotion of organic agriculture.
The European Commission and Switzerland have recognized the NPOP production standards and the accreditation system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also rated the conformity criteria applied for accreditation purposes as equivalent to its own, which simplifies international trade. The national logo for organic products designed on behalf of the Indian government is also part of the programme.
Who can I contact as international manufacturer? Who provides support in India or in my own country?
The chambers of foreign trade are generally a suitable source of information. German companies interested in India should contact the Chamber of Commerce in Delhi. Internationally operating certifiers or national (grower) associations with international know-how can also support newcomers.
The organizer of BioFach India together with India Organic, NürnbergMesse, and die Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, the partner for the exhibition, are always pleased to provide information. Another prominent source of information in India is the International Competence Centre of Organic Agriculture (ICCOA), the co-organizer of BioFach India.
For what organic companies and market segments is India a suitable sales market?
As generally known, basmati rice, pulses, honey, tea, spices, coffee, oilseed and fruit form the heart of Indian organic production, plus processed food, corn, herbal drugs, cotton clothing, cosmetics and body care products too.
International buyers find a wide range in this segment. Interesting aspects for manufacturers are the large potential and excellent sales prospects the market offers for convenience foods, pasta, wine, cooking oil, chocolate and ice cream.
Other BioFach global events:
- BioFach and Vivaness, Nuremberg: 15.-18. February 2012
- BioFach America, Baltimore: 22.-24. September 2011
- BioFach America Latina und Expo Sustentat,
Sao Paulo: 5.-7. October 2011
- BioFach Japan, Tokyo: 1.-3. November 2011
- BioFach China, Shanghai: 24.-26. May 2012
About BioFach India together with India Organic
Since 2009 BioFach India and India Organic (IOTF) have together presented the broad spectrum of the Indian organic products market. In 2010, 103 exhibitors in net space of 1,560 m2 were delighted with the keen interest shown by 2,860 trade visitors.
Under the auspices of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the trade fair with strict admission criteria guarantees a consistently high level of quality for the products presented. With the cooperation, NürnbergMesse and the International Competence Centre of Organic Agriculture (ICCOA), co-organizer of BioFach India together with India Organic, are aiming to generate decisive impulses for the development of the national and international organic products trade.