All the BIOFACH Congress topics and forums
The demand for organic products remains strong and markets for sustainable healthy organic food are developing all over the world. The organic industry offers far more than “just” healthy foods, however. It offers solutions to the challenges of the future, namely the climate crisis, world hunger and resource destruction. The industry has to scrutinise itself as well though and continue to develop and generate new impetus. Only then will it be able to assert itself among the ever growing range of sustainable, environmentally friendly and locally produced products available and be recognised as THE strategic model that needs to be used to develop a sustainable food industry in the future.
The BIOFACH Forum will reflect the diversity of the organic industry, illustrate its dynamism and potential for development, cover innovation and quality awareness, shine a light on its environment, developments and tendencies, and will also not shy away from dealing with critical questions.
Even if specialist store turnover figures are stable or even improving, the challenges for individual specialist retailers and their suppliers are growing. The area of conflict the organic industry and all its players in retail find themselves in is big:
What makes a specialist store if “organic” is no longer sufficient as unique selling point in competition with food retailers?
Which product ranges, service features and prices will still be attractive to specialist store customers in the future?
How can specialist stores and manufacturers develop together successfully and are concepts like specialist store loyalty, brand loyalty and exclusivity up-to-date instruments??
How can organic players ensure that their political positions reach consumers through the necessity of a paradigm shift in the food and farming industries?
What future prospects do I have as an independent organic retailer in an industry that is becoming more and more concentrated?
Which successor models will take my business into the next generation?
The Forum Fachhandel in hall 9 will pick up on future-relevant themes of the organic industry and discuss how specialist stores can incorporate them. The aim is to bring the players together, create a platform for dialogue and the sharing of experiences, have practitioners produce themes for practitioners and also ask for ideas from outside the industry.
For this dialogue, we will need your requests, topics and questions. As in the last few years, we will create an interesting programme based on your responses.
Sustainability has many facets. Reducing CO2 emissions, conserving resources such as soil, water and fossil energy, and dealing with employees and suppliers fairly are all examples that have to be taken into consideration if there is to be a consistent focus on sustainability.
But how consistently can sustainability criteria be included in important corporate decisions and strategic targets? The industry has to tackle sustainability actively and competently, because it is not sustainable per se, but does offer solutions to many problems as well as a foundation and links for credible sustainable concepts.
The Politics Forum will draw attention to topics that have a direct effect on the framework conditions created for the organic food industry. Industry players, politicians and representatives from state organizers are invited to express and discuss their points of view – because it’s clear to us that regardless of whether you’re a famer, a manufacturer, an importer, a regular retailer, a trade or a specialist store, you need stable and reliable framework conditions to face the challenges of the future.
The relevant laws (e.g. national and EU organic legislation) and organic action plans and programmes play a crucial role here. International agreements such as the US-EU Organic Equivalency Agreement, which was signed at BIOFACH exactly five years ago, and agreements like TTIP, which will ultimately determine general policies for international trade, are also influential. You can expect critical, controversial and constructive discussions on current political topics affecting the organic industry at the Politics Forum.
The Science Forum offers a platform for dialogue between scientists, practitioners and advisors. Research projects have to be adapted to practice, and research findings have to be communicated and discussed with the industry. What actually results from research findings and how can they be incorporated in practice. Discussions on problems and research findings, especially findings from the areas of processing, trade, food quality and marketing, are what we require here.