Exports of organic food and beverages amounted to SEK 1,2 billion in 2017, which is an increase of SEK 51 million compared with the previous year. Organic farming and processing companies face several challenges but also great opportunities according to a new one survey of Swedish eco-exports.
Organic Sweden and Ekologiska Lantbrukarna has let the consulting company Maclean carry out a survey of Swedish exports of organic food. Compared with last year's survey, the results show that exports of organic and KRAV-labeled food and drink increased by SEK 51 million.
Good conditions for export of organic
The report also shows that Sweden has good prospects of strengthening its presence in the international food market. The interviewed companies emphasize the following measures: 1) help exports to balance deficits and good market access 2) equip companies with relevant market information on priority export markets and 3) provide information on regulations, certifications, trade barriers and other market-specific conditions.
- Through better and long-term coordination between agriculture and processing companies, we could boost Swedish organic exports. Now that we have a good supply of certain organic raw materials, not least on the animal side, exports could stabilize domestic production at the same time as we meet the outside world's demand for sustainably produced food, says Niels Andresen, operations manager at Ekologiska Lantbrukarna.
Like last year's report, the companies emphasize that an established network of contacts and knowledge of the export market are two key success factors. The companies also believe that the added value that Sweden is associated with internationally - clean air, clean water, good animal husbandry and sustainable production - needs to be communicated more clearly and linked to the Swedish ecological added value.
- The Swedish organic food and its added value respond to the outside world's growing demand for healthy, sustainable and credible food. The challenge we face is to communicate these added values and in the long term position Sweden as an eco-country at the forefront, says Charlotte Bladh André, CEO of Organic Sweden.
Proposals for measures for increased exports of organic
1. Collective efforts
- Long-term strategy based on conditions, supply and demand
- Operational program - from logistics collaborations to joint meetings with buyers
2. Market Sweden as an eco-country
- Common export concept for eco-Sweden
- Strong trade fair presence in priority markets
- Coordinated and long-term delegation work
Advice for companies with organic production
- Easily accessible information about regulations, customs, certifications and barriers to trade
- Subsidized advice to SMEs to a greater extent
4. Measure the exports of organic
- Give the Swedish Customs or another authority the task of measuring the export of organic food
5. Policy objectives for the export of organic
- Set clear goals for the export of organic food and drink from Sweden
Facts: Export of organic food:
- Exports of organic food amounted to approximately SEK 1,2 billion in 2017
- Exports of organic food and beverages have increased by SEK 51 million from 2016
- The majority of exports of organic food go to the Nordic countries, followed by Germany and the rest of Europe
- The product categories coffee, berries and jams, beverages and cereals and bread continue to have the greatest export value
- Organic farming needs to balance grain deficits and good supply of pigs, beef, chicken and dairy
- The export report has been produced by the consulting company Macklean on behalf of Organic Sweden and Ekologiska Lantbrukarna. The survey is based on telephone interviews with 34 Swedish companies, both large and small eco-producers and exporters. The interviews were conducted in the autumn of 2018.
Download the full report here: Eco-export reports 2018