The first detailed survey of the burgeoning Baltics organic market will be launched launched today at the Nordic Organic Food Fair trade show in Malmö (14-15 November, MalmöMässan).
The Baltic Organic Market Report, produced by specialist organic consultancy Moreganic Sourcing, covers organic food sold in retail, food service, online and export in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Moreganic Sourcing estimates the total value of the Baltics organic market to be worth €270 million.
The report explains that while Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are countries that are very different in language, culture and history, there are many reasons why they can be seen collectively as a sub-market in the EU.
The organic industry in this region has been growing quickly over the last 15 years. Initially organic production was driven by demand from other markets, making export the main revenue. For the last few years the domestic consumer market has started to develop in tandem.
Organic products are readily available in retail outlets; general supermarkets, specialised shops, e-commerce, and in direct purchase at farmers markets. It’s estimated that the organic share of food sales in the region is at least 1.5% by value, and that it is currently growing very fast.
Estonia is currently leading the way, and Margus Amor, purchasing director at Rimi Estona, says: “we see the sales of organics will continue to increase,although today we have still have questions with availability. In fresh, the biggest organic sales opportunity comes from the egg category. Fruits and vegetables both have similar share of organic items, with a share of sales at about 3.5%. In fruits the most popular or bananas, but the share of organic avocados is also high. In vegetables, tomatoes and cucumbers are most popular. Jams. Honey, dried fruit, nuts and cooking oils also form larger categories.”
Organic food-processing in the Baltics are split into two sides: on one hand there are the smaller units manufacturing high-quality, low volume products, and on the other, large lean and specialised organisations. For example, Latvia hosts one of the few dedicated organic potato starch manufacturers in the world – Aloja Stakelsen.
Across the Baltic states, organic’s share of agricultural land ranges from between 8-20%. Estonia has the highest share with 20%. The total area and the certified organic agriculture is 764,000 ha, where Latvia is the leader with 320,000 ha. The average size of organic farm in the region is 91 ha.
Helena Wistrand at Moreganic Sourcing, commented: “the Baltic countries are now clearly entering a phase of rising domestic demand. At the same time demand for organic food continues to rise across the world. As exports account for about 40% of the revenue in the organic Baltic market, the risk for those considering converting land of production to organic would seem to be relatively low. That’s why we expect to the market in the Baltic region to continue to grow at a quick pace over the coming years.”
The Baltic organic market report is being launched today at the Nordic organic food fair in Malmö.
Digital versions of the 30-page report are priced at €100 and can be ordered by email – [email protected]