Fifth of coffee now sustainably produced

12 January 2017

Organic food sales in North America and northern Europe will drive the sustainable foods market in 2017, according to a report.

Research group Organic Monitor forecast sales in the US and Canada will pass $50bn for the first time this year.

And organic foods will make up a market share approaching 7% to 10% in the US, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and neighbouring countries.

However, there is likely to be a supply shortage in organic produce as the growth of organic farmland slows.

Eco labels for food products will continue to proliferate, with new eco labels gaining traction in specific product categories.

Examples of this include the Rainforest Alliance for agricultural commodities, and Marine Stewardship Council for seafood.

Meanwhile, sustainably sourced ingredients are likely to take an increasingly large market share, with 20% of all coffee now being produced according to sustainability standards.

Large companies such as leading chocolate and cocoa supplier Barry Callebaut and fragrance and flavour manufacturer Givaudan are expected to make commitments to sustainable sourcing.

This is likely to increase the market share of sustainably sourced tea, cocoa, vanilla and sugar, for example.

And metrics are likely to play an increased role in the sustainability programmes of food and ingredient companies, especially when it comes to measuring energy, resource usage, waste and social parameters.

Increasing numbers of natural and organic food companies are expected to make carbon neutral and zero waste pledges.

Food companies are also likely to make greater investment in ingredient supply chains to provide transparency and reduce the risk of food fraud and adulteration.

In the US non-GMO labelling schemes, which identify foods that do not use genetically modified organisms, are expected to become more popular and sales of non-GMO verified food are likely to exceed $20bn in 2017.

Food waste is likely to continue to rise on the sustainability agenda, leading more food companies and retailers to make waste reduction pledges. This will lead to food byproducts getting greater recognition as a raw material and becoming the source of new products. 

The adoption rate of sustainable materials like bio plastics and other forms of green packaging is also expected to grow as increasing numbers of natural or organic food companies adopt such materials to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.

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