Saxony: Günther: Unbroken demand for regional organic products

Since the Greens have been in the Saxon government, the state has invested almost 40 percent more in organic products or regionally produced food.

Saxony: Günther: Unbroken demand for regional organic products

Since the Greens have been in the Saxon government, the state has invested almost 40 percent more in organic products or regionally produced food. Consumers should get even more appetite.

Dresden (dpa / sn) - According to the Saxon Minister of Agriculture Wolfram Günther (Greens), the demand for regional organic food is still high, despite consumer uncertainty. "That shows the strength of the organic market," he said in an interview with the German Press Agency. Inflation and price increases have made people more sensitive. Nevertheless, the federal organic food industry registered growth in sales of organic products of 35 percent in 2022 compared to 2019.

"The price increase for organic products was less than that for conventionally produced food. Inflation hit non-organic food more severely," Günther gave one reason. However, there is a shift in demand from organic retailers to organic products in supermarkets and discounters. "It's difficult for individual companies. But the bottom line is that demand is picking up. That's amazing because the special effects of the corona pandemic are no longer relevant. During the lockdown, people cooked a lot at home, but now they're eating in canteens more often again , where organic does not yet play a major role."

According to Günther, however, it is not just about percentages, but about growth in the industry in line with the market. You have several tools to do this. "We have to network actors with each other so that business relationships can develop. We do that with events, trade fairs, but also with our competence center." The minister referred to the Saxon Agency for Regional Food (Agil), the organic model regions and the Competence Center for Organic Farming. In addition, funding instruments have also been increasingly geared towards organic.

"We have made money, personnel and know-how available to the industry and networked the players. This is now bearing fruit," said the minister. Farmers' interest in switching to organic farming and entering the market is unbroken. Günther hopes that the organic regional model regions will also set a precedent. "There is still a lot of space in Saxony." There are currently three of these regions. There, regional development organizations work closely with companies in the agricultural and food industries.

In Günther's view, the industry as a whole has come through the crisis in a stable manner. However, individual companies could also get into difficulties as a result of the current development. "There will be individual losers who will not survive the business." But that is mainly related to problems that keep coming up in the East, such as the low equity ratio. Companies would then have a harder time surviving a crisis.

Günther promoted sustainable development. "We don't want the big organic discounter that flattens everyone else and maybe buys products in China or elsewhere. That's not in our interest. We want as many businesses in Saxony as possible to have a secure income in the value chain," he said . Building blocks were still missing in this chain. Organic should be on everyone's lips in Saxony by 2025 at the latest. Then the country organizes the nationwide organic field days - a kind of Olympic Games for the industry.

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