Romanians’ appetite for organic products has grown constantly over the past years and with no official statistics available, domestic consumption is estimated to have exceeded EUR 100 million in 2013, Marian Cioceanu, president of the Bio Romania Association, which is dedicated to organic farming, told BR. This is good news, but despite constant annual increases, the market is still green with considerable room for growth, he added.
Bio Romania signed today a partnership with Carrefour which will make available Romanian organic products on the retailer’s shelves. So far 19 Carrefour stores are included in the scheme and several dozens of products. Their number however, is constantly growing, says Carrefour.
The partnership is an important step ahead and is crucial to help the local organic sector evolve from producing mainly raw materials which are later exported, says Bio Romania’s president. Similar partnerships with other retailers are expected to follow, he added. The association also announced today the launch of national brand for organic products – Rodul Bio Romania (Organic Romanian Produce). Encouraging Romanians to buy locally grown and manufactured organic goods, and not only, is vital to help develop the manufacturing sector, added Cioceanu.
Romania remains a net exporter of organic products, albeit mostly raw materials such as cereals and fruit. Last year’s exports of organic products are estimated to be around EUR 200 million, Costin Lianu, deputy general director of the Export Development Direction part of the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and the Business Environment told BR. Exports have grown over the last years by about 10 percent (annual growth rate) and a similar evolution is expected this year, he added.
After Romanian farmers started receiving financial support to convert from conventional to organic farming in 2010, the number of farmers and processors has gone up significantly, from about 3,100 that year, to 10,000 in 2011 and some 26,000 last year, according to Bio Romania data.