Tradecorp International https://tradecorp.com.es/en Expert in micronutrients and speciality fertilise Tue, 29 Dec 2020 11:01:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.4 “From Science to Table”: understand how is science used and implemented in agricultural production https://tradecorp.com.es/en/download-our-new-article-from-science-to-table/ Tue, 29 Dec 2020 10:00:25 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=6741 We all enjoy sitting at a table full of appetizing and delicious fruit and vegetables, but have you ever wondered where the food came from, and the process that it followed to reach your table? From Science to Table is an 8-page article that deals with the question ‘how can we increase food production and […]

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We all enjoy sitting at a table full of appetizing and delicious fruit and vegetables, but have you ever wondered where the food came from, and the process that it followed to reach your table?

From Science to Table is an 8-page article that deals with the question ‘how can we increase food production and still deliver a sustainable agriculture?’

By 2050, the global population is projected to reach >9 billion and food production needs to increase by 50%. Over time, there is increasing consumer concern and awareness about the nutritional value of food consumed. Finding a solution, and under a changing climate, is the fundamental challenge of our time.

Science is the answer, but, what is behind science? How is science used and implemented in agricultural production? What is the research process and the factors that lead to true innovation?

Download the article to see the science behind the food on your table!

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What do organic consumers have in common? https://tradecorp.com.es/en/what-do-organic-consumers-have-in-common/ Thu, 10 Dec 2020 08:30:27 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=7131 Consumers of organic products are not as similar as it would initially seem. Dozens of studies have identified highly diverse profiles, though they do have underlying common values. Their common denominator is arguably that they are all committed to sustainability and that they are almost all from the northern hemisphere. According to the European Parliament, […]

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Consumers of organic products are not as similar as it would initially seem. Dozens of studies have identified highly diverse profiles, though they do have underlying common values.

Their common denominator is arguably that they are all committed to sustainability and that they are almost all from the northern hemisphere. According to the European Parliament, organic consumers are mainly located in North America, Europe and China.

Escenarios y tendencias en el consumo de productos ecológicos” (Scenarios and trends in the consumption of organic products) by Guillem Tendero Acin (Ed. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) establishes a number of common threads that help to define the profile of organic consumers. They are more aware of environmental issues, but “the purchasing power of consumers, as well as the particular history of each territory in terms of how production has developed and the market for organic produce” also play a decisive role.

The purchasing experience for organic consumers

Organic product consumers are those who follow the trend because consuming these products gives them personal satisfaction.

“The Greenconsumtion Effect: How using Green products improves the consumption experience” reveals how the use of organic products improves the global consumption experience. In the case of this study, a headset made from recycled plastic was at the centre of the analysis. The study was aimed especially at company marketing managers and looked at the role that the “green” effect can have on purchases and the personal satisfaction this brings. An accessible version of this report can be found in the following article.

The values of organic consumers

Reports and studies show that consumers of organic products are people who are often concerned about health, the environment and animal welfare. This statement is one of the conclusions of “Consumer behavior. Analysis by countries, buying pattern analysis, demographics, trends analysis, survey findings and result, leading companies and their market strategies”.

This study reveals that the success of organic products is related to growing health concerns and increasing awareness of the health benefits of eating organic food. Consumers value a reduction in the use of chemicals when growing fruit and vegetables; a higher antioxidant content and fewer toxic residues.

Millennial parents, the main buyers of organic products in the USA

If we segment, it is easier to find more specific groups. For example, in the United States, the main consumers of these products are the millennials, according to the Organic Trade Association, an umbrella organisation for the majority of organic producers in the USA. This detail is revealed in its latest 2017 report, which analyses consumption trends for organic products.

According to the study carried out by this organisation, if these consumers are parents in addition to being millennials, they constitute the largest group of organic consumers. The study reveals how becoming parents triggers a change in consumer habits and priorities.

The survey conducted by the OTA shows that the momentum these millennial parents have given to the purchase of organic products is driven by the belief “that selecting organic products for their family makes them better parents“. “This consumer actively seeks out healthier and more nutritious options for themselves and their children”.

According to this survey, other reasons for choosing organic products are related to the adverse effects of plant protection products, hormones and antibiotics on livestock; the health of children and personal health, as well as the desire not to consume highly processed food.

Environmental concerns of European consumers

According to AgenBio, after Europe recovered from the 2008 crisis and the stagnation it produced, the market for organic produce in the European Union has gathered momentum. The reason, according to this agency, is that European consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable development and are more and more aware of the link between food and health.

Despite this, the growth of organic consumption could be even faster if it were not for the barriers that some European consumers face. The European Consumer Organisation has carried out a macro-survey in several European countries which reveals that consumers are keen to make changes, but encounter a number of obstacles such as high prices, lack of accessibility to organic products, and difficulty in identifying them.

The report, entitled “One bite at a time: consumer and the transition to sustainable food”, answers the question of what consumers need in order to be able to switch to organic. The report was published in June 2020 with data obtained between October and November 2019.

Organic consumers in China: mothers and young people

The One Planet Network platform, together with the China Sustainable Consumption Research Program, has produced a comprehensive report on sustainable consumption in China, “Report on consumer awareness and behavior changes in sustainable consumption in China”. The study, carried out in 2016, comprised 9,370 surveys carried out in the ten cities with the highest consumption in China. The aim was to analyse the gap between the intentions and the real behaviour of consumers in the Asian giant.

In general, there are two main groups of organic consumers. The first group is made up of mothers between 29 and 35 years of age.  The second is consumers between 30 and 49 years of age.

According to this study, age and the degree of the economic development of cities are related to sustainable consumption awareness. People between 30 and 49 years of age are more likely to buy organic products, compared to consumers in the 20-29 age bracket.

The drivers for consumers of sustainable products in China include food safety and health, environmental protection and cost reduction. These justifications are common to both US and European consumers.

Similar information can be gleaned from the analysis of purchasing profiles on the Alibaba portal. Women buy more green products than men and the group consisting of mothers between 29 and 35 years of age is the one that has most increased their consumption of these products.

A diverse profile with common values

Although the profiles are demographically varied, consumers of organic products share a number of common values and a similar lifestyle: their commitment to sustainability.

The most comprehensive study conducted so far is over 10 years old and is still cited in numerous publications today. “Who are organic food consumers? A compilation and review of why people purchase organic food” is the benchmark study for establishing who buys organic products and why. For these researchers, the word “organic” has many meanings and therefore consumers of these products are not homogenous in either their demographics or their beliefs about these products.

According to this study, consumers of organic produce – defined as products to which no chemicals are applied during their cultivation – are women and have children living at home. This is the only common characteristic.

Interestingly, the study reveals that younger people have a more positive attitude towards the purchase of organic products, but it is older people who consume them more. This is due to the high prices of organic products which young people cannot afford.

In the same way that the OTA identifies millennial parents as organic consumers, the 2007 survey already revealed that the change towards organic consumption habits often came with the arrival of a child in the family unit.

 

 

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Dr. Rossall (University of Nottingham) talks about an experiment that demonstrates that phosphites act as potent biostimulants https://tradecorp.com.es/en/dr-rossall-university-of-nottingham-talks-about-an-experiment-that-demonstrates-that-phosphites-act-as-potent-biostimulants/ Tue, 24 Nov 2020 09:36:56 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=7121 Tradecorp recently highlighted how Phosphites act as potent Biostimulants by encouraging root development and improving Nitrogen assimilation. The research was conducted at The University of Nottingham (UK) by Dr. Steve Rossall, under a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant. This research was part of a Phosphite Biostimulant Stewardship Group (PBSG) project, of which […]

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Tradecorp recently highlighted how Phosphites act as potent Biostimulants by encouraging root development and improving Nitrogen assimilation.

The research was conducted at The University of Nottingham (UK) by Dr. Steve Rossall, under a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant. This research was part of a Phosphite Biostimulant Stewardship Group (PBSG) project, of which Tradecorp is a founding member.

In the short video interview below Dr. Rossall highlights how the experiment was conducted and also demonstrates the findings.

 

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Good nutrition can break the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition in a single generation, according to UNICEF https://tradecorp.com.es/en/good-nutrition-can-break-the-vicious-cycle-of-poverty-and-malnutrition-in-a-single-generation-according-to-unicef/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:57:16 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=7111 World Children’s Day is celebrated every year on 20 November to mark the anniversary of the publication of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.   The latter is an international treaty that recognizes the human rights […]

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World Children’s Day is celebrated every year on 20 November to mark the anniversary of the publication of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

 

The latter is an international treaty that recognizes the human rights of children and obliges governments to uphold them.

The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child has 10 principles that set out the obligations of States towards their most vulnerable citizens. Today, we would like to highlight Principle 4, which focuses on children’s health and nutrition:

“The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.” (Principle 4)

When we talk about the right to food, starving and undernourished children appear in our imagination. However, according to UNICEF’s 2019 report “The State of the World’s Children”, the face of malnutrition has changed. “One third of children under age 5 are malnourished – stunted, wasted or overweight – while two thirds are at risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger because of the poor quality of their diets”.

What is malnutrition: the facts behind the paradox

According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition in all its forms includes undernutrition, inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related non-communicable diseases. Both obesity and wasting, two forms of malnutrition, occur on the same planet.

A total of 47 million children under 5 years of age are wasted, 14.3 million are severely wasted and 144 million are stunted, while 38.3 million are overweight or obese.

Unicef has detected situations and countries in which “these three forms of malnutrition – undernutrition, hidden hunger and overweight – co-exist. This means that a single country may face the challenge of addressing high rates of stunting, micronutrient deficiencies, and obesity. Or a family may have an overweight mother and a stunted child.” This new concept has been named by Unicef as “the triple burden of malnutrition, a burden that threatens the survival, growth and development of children, economies and societies.”

The consequences of malnutrition

The effects of malnutrition, according to the UNICEF report, carry over into adulthood and reduce economic and social opportunities. A malnourished child is tired, pays less attention at school, gets worse marks, and has fewer opportunities for professional development. If an adult has poor nutritional habits, his or her children are likely to have them too.

This circle of malnutrition occurs in both developed and less developed countries.  For example, in the United States, child obesity is more common in families with limited education and low incomes. In England, child obesity rates are more than twice as high in poorer areas as in better-off areas.

Interestingly, there are five times as many fast food restaurants in the poorest areas compared to other areas. And in many cases the healthiest food is more expensive than the most unhealthy choices.

In less developed countries, on the other hand, the figures are alarming. Chronic malnutrition affects one third of children in places such as the Republic of Congo. Children living in remote areas have more difficulty gaining access to clean water, sanitation and health care. These failings in the system mean that they are less likely to finish school, more likely to catch diseases, and, in this vicious circle, more likely to remain impoverished.

According to UNICEF data, good nutrition can break this vicious circle of poverty and malnutrition in a single generation. With healthy food, even children with malnourished parents can grow up to reach a healthy weight.

Unhealthy food marketing

While there are clearly a number of social and economic reasons that exacerbate malnutrition in developed countries, the marketing of food products also plays an important role in these unhealthy habits. Unicef has made a special appeal to food marketing, advertising, packaging and campaigns that are designed with children in mind and that create demand for so-called ‘junk food’ and sweetened drinks. According to Unicef, “food marketing is directly linked to growing overweight and obesity.”

Following this statement, the Unicef authorities suggest that the legislation in each country should be aimed at reducing the marketing of these products. Together with the World Health Organization, it also calls for the promotion of better nutrition and the regulation of the marketing of unhealthy food to children.

 

 

 

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The keys to “Farm to Fork”: an ambitious joint commitment to sustainability https://tradecorp.com.es/en/the-keys-to-farm-to-fork-an-ambitious-joint-commitment-to-sustainability/ Wed, 18 Nov 2020 09:40:23 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=7084 Sustainability is a concept which has taken root in political, business and social objectives and initiatives in recent years. What was initially a trend towards more responsible social behaviour has turned into a current and future necessity that will ensure people can continue to live together in a fairer, healthier world in which all citizens […]

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Sustainability is a concept which has taken root in political, business and social objectives and initiatives in recent years. What was initially a trend towards more responsible social behaviour has turned into a current and future necessity that will ensure people can continue to live together in a fairer, healthier world in which all citizens are guaranteed good quality of life.

Farm to Fork: A European Union strategy

Climate change and environmental degradation are compromising the future of the planet and its natural resources. In addition, they are putting at stake the health of all its inhabitants and the economic viability of many regions and activities.

Against this backdrop, the European Union has designed a strategy to make “Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It maps a new, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, and leave no one behind” (Communication from the European Commission, A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system).

Ultimately, the goal is a sustainable, inclusive Union in which the triad of nature, food system and biodiversity strike a balance that has a positive impact on the health of Europeans and the competitiveness of their businesses.

Objectives of the “Farm to Fork” Strategy and the Green Deal

This roadmap is known as the Green Deal. It seeks to increase the sustainability of food systems as a cross-cutting measure to combat climate change, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity, ensure access to healthy food for all, increase organic farming and ensure fair economic returns throughout the food chain.

These objectives have given rise to the “Farm to Fork” strategy, a plan that aims to tackle the challenges of sustainable food systems and believes that there is a close relationship between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet.

This approach has been bolstered by the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. As Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, points out, “The coronavirus crisis has shown how vulnerable we all are, and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature” (From Farm to Fork, our food, our health, our planet, our future).

Commitment to a healthy, sustainable diet

The EU believes that its citizens are already aware of and are committed to sustainable food. Therefore, it sees this ‘step forward’ as an opportunity to encourage people to choose a healthy, sustainable diet that will improve their quality of life and help the environment.

According to the European Commission, “People pay increasing attention to environmental, health, social and ethical issues and they seek value in food more than ever before. Even as societies become more urbanised, they want to feel closer to their food. They want food that is fresh, less processed and sustainably sourced”.

Farm to Fork

The main challenges for agriculture

To meet growing demand, the agricultural industry will have to undergo radical transformation. Although Europe’s food system is already recognised worldwide for producing safe, nutritious, quality food, it must now evolve to make it sustainable as well.

The Commission explains that “Farm to Fork” seeks to reward operators in the food chain who have already moved towards sustainable practices and help the remainder make the transition.

The major changes facing agriculture include:

– Reducing pollution. Despite the fact that European agriculture has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% since 1990, operations in the food chain contribute significantly to soil, air and water pollution and harm the environment.

– Optimising the use of pest control agents. By 2030, the Commission aims to reduce the use of these products by 50% and the use of fertilisers by 20%.

– Promoting organic farming. The Commission aims to have 25% of all agricultural land used for organic farming by 2030.

Social and dietary change, in the context of a weakened economy

Europe is convinced that this transition cannot take place without a change in society and in people’s diets. Twenty percent of the food produced goes to waste and half of the adult population is overweight.

The Commission points out that “Overall, European diets are not in line with national dietary recommendations and the ‘food environment’ does not ensure that the healthy option is always the easiest one. If European diets were in line with dietary recommendations, the environmental footprint of food systems would be significantly reduced” (Communication from the European Commission, A Farm to Fork strategy for a fair, healthy, environmentally-friendly food system).

In addition, action must be taken to reverse the current situation and prevent the weakened economy from jeopardising food safety and the affordability of food. According to Eurostat, 33 million people in the EU today cannot afford a decent meal every two days and in many Member States food aid is a necessity for part of the population.

Related information:

 

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World Diabetes Day: a day to reflect on healthy eating https://tradecorp.com.es/en/world-diabetes-day-a-day-to-reflect-on-healthy-eating/ Fri, 13 Nov 2020 11:17:48 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=7051 One in ten people worldwide have some form of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The most recent 2016 WHO report on this chronic disease, which presents data for 2014, revealed a staggering figure: 422 million people across the world have diabetes. In 2016, 1.6 million […]

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One in ten people worldwide have some form of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

The most recent 2016 WHO report on this chronic disease, which presents data for 2014, revealed a staggering figure: 422 million people across the world have diabetes.

In 2016, 1.6 million people died from the disease. On top of this, the WHO added another two million deaths (2012 figure) caused by conditions that develop as a result of diabetes, including heart disease, kidney failure, leg amputation, blindness and brain damage. By way of comparison, the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged the world since January 2020, has caused 1.27 million deaths.

 

Healthy eating: an essential tool for combating diabetes

Healthy-food

Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash

 

The main tool that diabetics can use to combat the disease (along with drugs, mainly insulin) is to follow a healthy diet. In order to prevent the disease, the main health authorities recommend reducing carbohydrate intake and cutting down on sweetened and ultra-processed products. This reduction needs to be even more drastic in the case of people already suffering from the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is difficult to prevent. The agents that trigger it are unknown and are still being investigated. However, in the case of type 2, there is evidence that lifestyle is directly related. According to the IDF, several studies (available on the website) have shown that a change in lifestyle can prevent the onset of this type of diabetes. This lifestyle combines moderate exercise and healthy eating.

As we have mentioned above, carbohydrates and ultra-processed foods must be removed from a diabetic’s diet. In addition, both the WHO and the IDF recommend limiting this type of food among healthy people to prevent the disease from developing.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) recommends cutting out sweetened drinks and consuming fruit, vegetables and pulses at least three times a day. In addition, they suggest eating nuts, lean white meat, and fish, and advocate limiting the amount of red meat. Naturally, they recommend reducing or cutting out alcohol.

This international forum, which works both to prevent the disease and to promote healthy lifestyles, encourages the consumption of wholemeal carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, such as olive, rapeseed and sunflower oil, as opposed to animal and saturated fats. The IDF is particularly concerned about the consumption of sweetened foods, especially soft drinks. In this regard, it is aligned with the recommendations put forward by the WHO in 2015, calling for limits on sugar intake.

However, it is also essential to draw up policies that promote healthy and active lifestyles. In this field, the WHO has developed guidelines to raise awareness among children about habits that will help them prevent diabetes.

Types of diabetes:

Type 1:

  • Type 1 can develop at any age, but it is most common among children and young adults. It usually requires extra insulin to offset the lack of this hormone generated by the body.

Type 2:

  • Type 2 is more common in adults and accounts for 90% of all cases. In this type of diabetes, treatment is based on a healthy lifestyle, comprehensive monitoring of diet and physical activity to combat sedentarism.

Gestational Diabetes:

  • There is a third type, namely gestational diabetes, which is suffered by women during pregnancy. It usually disappears after birth, but both mother and child are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Preventing diabetes is essential so as not to develop other related diseases. These are serious conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. In addition, diabetes can also lead to complications in wounds that result in lower limb amputation, in the most extreme cases.

World Diabetes Day 2020 – A tribute to nurses

 This year, the IDF has decided to pay tribute across the world to nurses, the health profession that patients identify most with.

 

The idea is for patients, their families and all those who want to offer nurses the recognition they deserve, to share photos, tributes and videos with the hashtags #WorldDiabetesDay and #NursesMakeTheDifference.

More information:

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71.5 million hectares of organic production around the world https://tradecorp.com.es/en/71-5-million-hectares-of-organic-production-around-the-world/ Thu, 12 Nov 2020 09:22:41 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=7013 Australia, Argentina and China have the largest number of hectares used for organic crops Organic production around the world is experiencing sustained growth, especially in the second decade of the 21st century. The latest data, published in February 2020 by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), confirm that there are now more than 70 […]

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Australia, Argentina and China have the largest number of hectares used for organic crops

Organic production around the world is experiencing sustained growth, especially in the second decade of the 21st century.

The latest data, published in February 2020 by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), confirm that there are now more than 70 million hectares of organic farmland worldwide. This represents a growth rate of 546% over the last 21 years.

Between 2008 and 2018, the number of hectares used for organic farming worldwide increased from more than 34.5 million to 71.5 million hectares. Farmers who have switched to organic farming have doubled over the same period of time from around 1.4 million to approximately 2.8 million.

Sales of organic produce have also increased, practically tripling in volume. In 2008, sales of organic products amounted to just over €34 billion, but by 2018, the figure had risen to approximately €97 billion.

WORLDWIDE MARKET FOR ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

 

Large-scale organic farmers

The countries with the most organic agricultural farmland are Australia with 35.6 million hectares followed, albeit by a long way, by Argentina (3.6 million) and China with 3.1 million hectares.

However, these figures do not correspond to the number of producers, with the largest numbers being located in India, with more than one million people involved in organic production on this subcontinent. The second country in the ranking is Uganda with about 210,000 producers, followed by Ethiopia with just over 200,000 growers.

TOP COUNTRIES

 

Sales of organic produce on the rise

The market for organic products is also growing at a healthy rate in terms of sales, though it is worth mentioning that this increase is not taking place in the countries with the highest production, but in the northern hemisphere, in countries which are willing to pay a premium for these products.

According to the FIBL, in 2018, the market for organic produce in the United States (the last year for which we have available data) was worth more than €40 billion. The US giant was followed by two European countries, Germany and France, with nearly €11 billion and just over €9 billion, respectively.

In terms of per capita consumption, the European countries with the highest incomes are in the lead. Switzerland and Denmark spend €312 per capita on organic food, followed by Sweden with an average annual consumption of €231 per capita.

 

But, what is the reason for this growth?

Climate change, overexploitation of land, the consequences of greenhouse gases, etc. have underlined the importance of protecting the environment for both farmers and consumers. This is fostering the development of new technologies and more environmentally friendly techniques, as well as driving trends such as carbon footprint reduction, consumption of zero-mile produce, and the production and consumption of organic products.

In addition, the current global crisis caused by COVID-19 has reminded people of the importance of the agricultural sector, of the importance of food supply, and of the need to consume products that are grown locally and sustainably.

In addition to all of these factors, we can add the commitment of governments, which associate the concept of organic, sustainable farming with protecting the environment and combating climate change.

 

Boost from the authorities

One of the biggest boosts to the industry is the one being advocated by the European Union, as reported by IFOAM Organics Europe, which represents more than 200 producer organisations from 34 European countries. In its 2019 report, it recognises the steps being taken by the Commission. This body is part of IFOAM International which, in 2018, had 779 members in 110 countries. The largest number of members is located in Germany (79), followed by India (55), the United States (48) and China (45).

In the case of Europe, the European Union’s Agricultural Outlook Conference in December 2019 was the scenario for the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, and the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, to establish an action plan for organic farming in 2020.

The EU has also established a strategy within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which states that “the market for organic food will continue to grow and organic farming must be further promoted“. The European Commission wants to “achieve the objective of at least 25% of the European Union’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 and a significant increase in organic aquaculture”.

These objectives are part of the global ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases.

In this regard, the recent negotiations held in October 2020 on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have established the concept of “eco-schemes”, a new stream of funding that will reward agricultural and livestock practices that are beneficial to the climate and the environment. Twenty percent of direct payments will be allocated to these “eco-schemes”, and EU member states will be given flexibility to implement the measure.

 

The explosion of Asia

The area under organic farming in Asia is around 6.5 million hectares which, on such a large continent, accounts for only 0.4% of the total agriculture in the region. This figure represents 9% of the world’s organic crops. Asian farmers are taking an interest in organic farming and are looking to offer products that are increasingly in demand.

Within Asia, China has seen an increase in production thanks to product certification. China has 3.1 million hectares of organic farmland, while the country with the largest number of producers is India, with 1,149,371 organic growers.

In the case of China, local supermarkets are increasingly willing to stock these products, although some problems have been detected with the online sale of products labelled as “organic” in order to take advantage of the premium prices that this certified produce commands. Additionally, from a political point of view, the Chinese state is focusing on promoting organic produce among smaller growers and an increasing number of local government agencies have been visiting IFOAM’s headquarters in Bonn to learn about future opportunities for organic farming.

In the case of India, which is practically a subcontinent in itself, the effects of climate change have had a considerable impact on agriculture, which has proved to be a wake-up call for the country to react and change. Crops, including organic crops, have been devastated by excessive rainfall. However, organic farms with fertile soils and rich biodiversity have withstood the test of climate impact. The Indian authorities have learnt their lesson about the effects of climate change and the excessive use of chemicals and are now promoting organic farming.

The growing interest of the countries that make up the Asian continent has also been reflected in the opening of IFOAM country offices in different states.

 

Australia and large areas of farmland

If there is one region of the world where organic farming is firmly established in terms of production and consumption, it is Oceania and more specifically, Australia. In 2019, the country’s organic industry had a turnover of 2.6 billion Australian dollars and the market continues to thrive, driven by exports of its products. In this regard, in 2018 more than 30,000 tonnes of Australian organic products were exported to 61 countries.

Australia has a total of 35.7 million hectares of certified organic farmland and it is a country in which consumers value the importance of product certification to such an extent that 55% of organic buyers look for certification marks and the relevant logos on the products they purchase.

Growth in this country is evident in all indicators and the number of companies involved in the organic industry (processors, handlers, importers and exporters) rose from 4,028 in 2017 to 4,802 in 2018. However, there is one exceptional circumstance in Australia and that is the decline in the number of organic producers, with small farms disappearing and larger farms strengthening their position.

 

Check out the full report via the following link:

https://www.fibl.org/fileadmin/documents/shop/5011-organic-world-2020.pdf  

 

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Are you using a top quality Humic Fulvic Acid product? This is our checklist to find it out! https://tradecorp.com.es/en/are-you-using-a-top-quality-humic-fulvic-acid-product-this-is-our-checklist-to-find-it-out/ Tue, 27 Oct 2020 11:33:54 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=6997 One of the biggest challenges in the Humic Acid industry is the lack of tests that measure the quality of Humic Fulvic acids and not just their quantity. Challenged by this situation, we carried out an insightful market study with the objective of better understanding what is for sale in the international Humic Fulvic Acids […]

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One of the biggest challenges in the Humic Acid industry is the lack of tests that measure the quality of Humic Fulvic acids and not just their quantity.

Challenged by this situation, we carried out an insightful market study with the objective of better understanding what is for sale in the international Humic Fulvic Acids market. From the results, we have developed a series of indicators that could help in the assessment of the quality of Humic and Fulvic Acid products. Here you have our checklist to assess the quality of Humic and Fulvic acids and some of the most interesting findings.

1. Quantity: does the label match the real contents inside the bottle?

A high quality Humic Fulvic Acid would obviously contain or exceed the concentration of Humic and Fulvic Acids that the manufacturer has declared on their own label. However, in our study we found out that more than 50% of the products in the international market did not meet the concentration or quantity of Humic Fulvic Acids that were declared on the manufacturers own label.

In some cases, this could be related to the varied tests used in different countries or by different companies. However, the most concerning was that a high proportion of the products that did not achieve the declared label concentration could never have reached their declared content, regardless of the test used.

 

2. Is it 100% soluble?

A high quality Humic Fulvic Acid product would incorporate only 100% soluble Humic Fulvic Acids to keep filters and drippers free from blockages. But, 1 in every 3 products contained high levels of fine insoluble particles that could potentially block irrigation equipment.

We found three main types of insoluble products:

  • precipitated Humic Fulvic Acids that had become insoluble during storage
  • remnants of the raw material that remained after processing
  • micronised raw materials

A high quality product is designed to avoid the precipitation of Humic Fulvic Acids during storage and across seasons. Regarding raw materials, while it is inevitable that a small quantity of these will remain in the final product, there were large variations in insolubles levels between the products analysed. Most high quality Humic Acids should not contain any raw material remnants that will not pass through a 200 mesh (74 micron) sieve to minimise the risk of blockages.

In some cases, when the insoluble particles of the product were removed, there were little to no soluble Humic Fulvic Acids remaining. This indicates that micronised Leonardite, or other unrefined or unpurified micronised materials were utilised in the product. As a result, the Humic and Fulvic Acids in these particular products would not have been available in the soil, or to plants, possibly for decades.

A high quality Humic Fulvic product would be highly refined by the manufacturer, with all of the Humic Fulvic Acids delivered in a soluble form (either liquid or highly soluble granule / powder) for immediately functionality when applied to the soil, or sometimes in the case of Fulvic Acids the crop.

 

3. Which raw material does it use?

With so many sources of Humic Fulvic Acids now available in the market a high quality Humic Fulvic Acid product should be derived from well-researched, established, natural sources of Humic Fulvic Acids. Novel sources of Humic Fulvic Acids, with no scientific literature to validate their claims, should be treated with caution.

American Leonardite is a safe bet when dealing with this indicator. American Leonardite remains the most widely studied and understood source of all supplementary Humic Fulvic Acids sources in the international market.

 

4. What is the pH?

At a simpler level, the pH of the liquid Humic Fulvic Acid product, while still in the bottle, can give some useful indications:

  • A pure liquid Humic Fulvic Acid product (e.g. one that is not mixed with NPK, etc) with a high proportion of Humic Acids will typically have a pH close to 11
  • A product that is high in Fulvic Acids will usually have a pH around pH 6 – 7
  • A product with more equal proportions of both Humic and Fulvic Acids will often have a pH of about 9

Of course, this is only an indicative test. pH can be influenced by other factors, so it does not indicate quality by itself. However, these indicators can still be useful for growers and distributors when reviewing products side by side and a no-frills, low-cost pH meter is all that is needed.

For example, if a product claims very high Humic Acid proportions, relative to Fulvic Acids, but the pH is 8, this indicates contradictory information as a product very high in Humic Acids should have a pH closer to 11. Similarly, a product that claims high Fulvic Acids but has a pH of 10 is also indicating contradictory information, as it would be expected to have a lower pH and this would also call into question the quality of the product as data and product claim are not aligned.

 

5. What colour is your product?

Humic Acids tend to have a black colour, whereas Fulvic Acids are often brown. While this is a subjective indicator, and can be influenced by extraction process or manipulated, it is a quick and low-cost way for growers and distributors when looking for contradictory indicators that can call a product’s quality into question. A high quality product rich in Humic Acids will usually have strong black colour and a high quality product rich in Fulvic Acids will have a lighter caramel or brown colour.

 

6. Cutting Edge Technologies to assess the quality of Humic Fulvic Acids

A Humic Fulvic Acid product usually contains 10’s or 100’s of different types of Humic and Fulvic Acids. One of the most detailed and effective qualitative tests that can be used to analyse both quantity and theoretical quality of Humic Fulvic Acids is pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (py-gcms).

Py-gcms is an analysis method that allows all the different types, and sizes, of Humic Fulvic Acids in a product to be analysed, quantified, and visualised. It is so accurate that it can be described as a creating a chemical fingerprint, identifying the individual Humic or Fulvic Acids at a chemical level, as well as their concentration.

This method is so detailed that in effect it allows each product to be more or less identified back to the manufacturer, even without product labels or other identifying features. So, two companies can take the same raw material, for example American Leonardite, and through using their differing Humic Fulvic Acid extraction processes, each resultant product will have different quantities of each individual Humic and Fulvic acids type in the final product. This explains why Humic Fulvic Acid products extracted from similar raw materials do not always perform the same in the field.

These cutting-edge techniques, while still expensive and requiring extremely specialised equipment, are increasingly available and offering new insights into the differences in quantity and quality of Humic Fulvic Acid.

 

7. What are the agronomic results?

Of course, the true and best test of the quality of Humic Fulvic Acids is performance in the field. Humic and Fulvic acids have differing results in soil or plants with each having differing strengths. Knowing the relative strengths of each before selecting a product allows growers and distributors to choose the option that is best suited to their particular agronomic needs.

  • Humic Acids are typically most effective at improving root biomass and have a strong secondary effect of strengthening soil structure. They should be applied directly to the soil as a soil spray, drench, or fertigation.
  • Fulvic Acids also have positive root biomass effects, but their effect is shorter as they degrade quicker. High quality Fulvic Acids are generally recognised as having a higher nutrient complexing capacity in soil and when tankmixing, compared with Humic Acids. Thanks to their smaller relative size and higher nutrient complexing capacity, Fulvic Acids have better foliar absorption potential compared to Humic Acids.

For best agronomic efficiency, co-application to soil of high quality Humic and Fulvic Acids will give the best combination of rooting, soil structure and nutrient recovery.

It is important to emphasise that all crop types will respond to high quality Humic Fulvic Acids when applied to soil to promote root growth. However, the quantity of root produced and other agronomic effects vary and depend both on the quality and quantity of Humic and Fulvic Acids used, as well as the individual crop type to which they were applied.

Would you like to learn more on Humic Fulvic Acids? Check these:

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Rovensa to acquire Oro Agri, a leading provider of environmentally friendly biocontrol solutions https://tradecorp.com.es/en/rovensa-to-acquire-oro-agri-a-leading-provider-of-environmentally-friendly-biocontrol-solutions/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:44:20 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=6987 Rovensa has agreed to acquire Oro Agri, a leading provider of environmentally friendly biocontrol solutions with international reach, from the Omnia Group.  Oro Agri has delivered an impressive track record of growth over the past two decades, supported by a high-quality portfolio of patent-protected biological products. The acquisition of Oro Agri reinforces Rovensa as the […]

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Rovensa has agreed to acquire Oro Agri, a leading provider of environmentally friendly biocontrol solutions with international reach, from the Omnia Group. 

Oro Agri has delivered an impressive track record of growth over the past two decades, supported by a high-quality portfolio of patent-protected biological products. The acquisition of Oro Agri reinforces Rovensa as the leading independent provider of biological solutions globally and further expands its geographical footprint, particularly across the US, Asia and South Africa. Rovensa looks forward to partnering with Erroll Pullen (Founder and CEO of Oro Agri) and his outstanding management team to accelerate Oro Agri’s expansion by leveraging Rovensa´s platform to exploit further growth opportunities.

Eric van Innis, CEO of Rovensa, stated: “Oro Agri has built an impressive biologicals business, with a worldwide renowned brand. Its regulatory and intellectual property strength, as well as its customer-oriented, technical go-to-market strategy with a boots on the ground approach are squarely aligned with Rovensa´s philosophy and principles. We are extremely excited to welcome Oro Agri into Rovensa. Its ambitious and talented management team, a highly promising product pipeline and the significant opportunities arising from the integration within the wider Rovensa group will be important drivers of our continued development.”

Erroll Pullen, Founder and CEO of Oro Agri, said: “It has taken us twenty years, from a one- man start-up to establishing leadership, product portfolio and distribution network across more than 75 countries. Recognition of these virtues by growers and distributors has recently opened the door for Oro Agri to significantly expand its North American distribution, doubling the number of outlets in the US. In Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia our teams are also busy with substantial distribution expansions. Being part of Rovensa is very exciting for our personnel as we see many new doors opening for the introduction of complementary products. I could not be more excited and my senior management staff is elated.“

Completion of the acquisition is expected to take place prior to 2020 year end and remains subject to the approval of the shareholders of Omnia Holdings Limited, as well as certain merger control and other clearances.

Rovensa’s portfolio of innovative agricultural solutions and technologies helps farmers enhance crop yields and provide food security. Rovensa has three divisions: BioControl, which offers solutions based on biological inputs, such as plant extracts and micro-organisms; BioNutrition, which provides agricultural crops with specialty nutrition solutions for growth and healthy development; and Crop Protection, which eliminates and prevents biological threats in crops. Rovensa specialises in formulating sustainable products which reduce agriculture’s environmental impact, combat its contribution to climate change and support the cultivation of healthy food.

Advisers to Rovensa were: HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Uría Menéndez, McKinsey, Context, PWC and ERM.

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This year, World Food Day honours the planet’s #FoodHeroes https://tradecorp.com.es/en/this-year-world-food-day-honours-the-planets-foodheroes/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:25:34 +0000 https://tradecorp.com.es/en/?p=6980 This year, the slogan for World Food Day is “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”, and it is joined by the hashtag #FoodHeroes which seeks to put the spotlight on producers around the world who provide food to all the planet’s population and who, during the COVID-19 crisis, have proved to be true heroes the world over. […]

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This year, the slogan for World Food Day is “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”, and it is joined by the hashtag #FoodHeroes which seeks to put the spotlight on producers around the world who provide food to all the planet’s population and who, during the COVID-19 crisis, have proved to be true heroes the world over.

Thus, this year, the FAO would like to pay tribute to all farmers, distribution centre and factory workers, transporters, shop-owners and traders. At this time, the FAO believes that “it is more important than ever to support our food heroes, farmers and workers throughout the food chain, who ensure that food is delivered from farm to fork, even in times of unprecedented upheavals such as the current COVID-19 crisis”.

However, on this occasion, the Food and Agriculture Organisation invites everyone to be food heroes, with a 10-point list of simple actions. The FAO encourages us to make healthy, local and seasonal food choices; to learn to grow food at home, to respect food and the environment so as to reduce waste, and to follow sound food hygiene practices.

World Food Day objectives

World Food Day was first celebrated in 1979, coinciding with the day the FAO was founded, – 16th October 1945. Since then, its aim has been to raise people’s awareness of the global food problem and to boost cooperation in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

This year, the celebration of this day coincides with a “call for global solidarity to help the most vulnerable people recover from the crisis and to make food systems more resilient and robust so that they can withstand increased volatility and the impacts of climate change, provide a healthy, affordable and sustainable diet for everybody, and decent livelihoods for those working in the food chain”.

A slogan for biodiversity

In addition, this slogan –“Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”– responds to the FAO’s annual campaign to focus on the areas most in need of change.

On this occasion, the FAO seeks to highlight the need for biodiversity. Over the course of human history, between 8,000 and 10,000 different species have been used for food. Today, around 150 are produced and commercially distributed, though only nine plants account for 66% of total crop production worldwide.

Hunger and malnutrition

Another objective of this international day is to draw attention to a long-standing issue: hunger and malnutrition in the world. According to the latest UN report, dated July 2019, 820 million people continue to go hungry, despite the fact that twice as much food is produced each year for the entire world population.

This lack of food remains the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the Global Nutrition Report, drawn up by an independent body created in 2013 that strives to achieve a world free from malnutrition in all its forms. However, malnutrition is not only caused by a lack of food, but also by inadequate nutrition. Overweight and obesity are also examples of malnutrition.

In the case of undernourishment, the figure is as high as three billion people and includes those who do not have a healthy diet, i.e. one that contains all the nutrients needed for optimal development.

Yet with the amount of food produced in the world, why are there two extremes – hunger and obesity? In the case of food shortages, UNICEF  believes that one of the main reasons why millions of people still suffer from serious food and nutrition problems is because of armed conflict. These generate food insecurity, inflated food prices, the destruction of water and sanitation systems, precariousness in health centres, and difficulties for humanitarian aid to reach the places most in need.

In addition to armed conflict, climate change is affecting many agricultural areas, especially in developing countries. Political instability in some regions also prevents the implementation of strategic measures to increase productivity and tackle hunger.

WHO recommendations

Against this background, where more than 800 million people are hungry, and 3,000 do not have a healthy diet – resulting in both malnutrition and obesity and excess weight – the World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the FAO to promote a healthy diet.

This is the best tool for preventing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer.

The WHO is committed to a diet that includes fruit, pulses and vegetables, is free of sugar and ultra-processed foods and contains a moderate amount of salt.

For its part, on World Food Day, the FAO insists on the need for appropriate nutrition: “Good nutrition is the first line of defence against disease and our source of energy for living and being active. There are many nutritional problems that are caused by a poor diet and when they affect an entire generation of children they can undermine their ability to learn, thus compromising their future and sustaining a generational cycle of poverty and malnutrition with serious consequences for individuals and nations”.

To achieve this objective, the international organisation appeals to the responsibility of producers and private companies. It calls on them to ensure “that food systems can grow a variety of foods to nourish a growing population so we can sustain the planet together”.

#FoodHeroes

#World Food Day

#16OctoberFood

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