Organic products are a highlight of Prodexpo 2022

07 / 02 / 2022

It is not the first year that Prodexpo 2022, the country's main food exhibition, has opened at Expocentre Fairgrounds featuring the Prodexpo Organic salon, dedicated to the development of organic products. Leading Russian and foreign producers are presenting organic products, beverages and cutting-edge technologies.

An important feature of the salon is the strict selection of exhibitors. Each company applying to participate in Prodexpo Organic guarantees that at least 70% of the products it exhibits have a valid organic certificate at the time of the trade show.

The variety of organic products on display at the salon allows retail buyers to seriously expand their assortment matrix and find new offers for restaurateurs.

The organic section of the exhibition is supplemented by the conference programme. Today, the Panel on Retail as an Infrastructure to Promote Organic Products, organised by the Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo) and EXPOCENTRE AO took place. The event was held in a hybrid format.

The panel discussion was moderated by Elena Sarattseva, Deputy Head of Roskachestvo: "For the third time Roskachestvo is opening such a major event - a session dedicated to organic products as one of the youngest dynamically developing areas of the Russian agro-industrial complex that deserves special attention. We will talk about organics in retail, how retail promotes the modern segment of our diet".

The panel was welcomed by Sergey Mitin, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Agricultural and Food Policy and Environmental Management of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and initiator of this discussion. He explained how the state regulates the trade in organic products and noted that in 10 years the volume of organic farming has increased by 9 times. However, less than 30% of certified land for organic production is not used today, which can provide additional growth in the coming years. This requires launching specialised state support programmes, regulating organic production by the Federal Programme, and developing an industry development strategy, the senator believes. According to experts at the Rosselkhozbank Centre for the Industry Expertise, the organic produce market will grow by 11-12% annually.

A brief overview of organic products in Moscow retail chains was given by Alexander Borisov, Chairman of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Council for the Development of the Consumer Market. According to him, half of the chains do not single out products for healthy lifestyles. Some chains, such as Azbuka Vkusa, Auchan, Metro, Perekrestok and Super Lenta, allocate and designate special zones. There are chains where, in fact, the zone is allocated but not designated. Organic products are very poorly represented in the retail chains, in single items. For many chains, the most important sales channel is the Internet, where more than 50% of the products are sold. The narrow range and high price, which is justified by the peculiarities of production, the lack of certification for special promotion are all factors that constrain retail as an infrastructure for the promotion of organics, the expert stated.

Nikita Kuznetsov, Director of the Department of Domestic Trade Development at the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, presented more comprehensive information on "on the shelf" products, noting that for the retailer, sales must be simply profitable.

One of the most developing segments, according to the speakers, is online sales of products. What difficulties do marketplace managers face and how do they achieve results, what prospects in the fight against greenwashing are opened in this direction told Sergey Belyakov, Managing Director of OZON.

Products can be positioned as organic if they are certified. Yana Sklyarova, Deputy Head of the Department of FAS Russia drew attention to how bona fide producers fight against pseudo-organic products, as well as to the need for control and supervision of the circulation of organic products.

Concrete examples of how organic retailing works in Germany were given by Steffen Reese, General Manager of the German Naturland Association. Evgeny Maslov, founder of Ecohleb OOO shared his experience in selling organic products. Polina Murashkina, Head of Quality, Sustainability and Ecology Department of Globus Chain, Elena Vorontsova, Head of HES and ECO direction of Perekrestok chain, Natalia Sommer, Director of Quality Management System of Magnit PAO reported about promotion of organic products in retail chains.

Presentations on topical issues were made by Sergey Korshunov, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Organic Agriculture, Vyacheslav Fedyunin, Director of the RSHB Organika Foundation, and representatives of regional independent chains.

In conclusion, the panel participants noted that the market for organic products has a great future. To increase sales of organic products in retail chains, it is necessary to ensure a comprehensive approach to the promotion of organic products in all sales channels, taking into account the specifics of each trade format and solutions in the field of sales promotion, experts believe.

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Press Service, EXPOCENTRE AO