Organic Food Market in the Czech Republic
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
In 2004, the market increased by 50 % (the year before by 16.6 %) and reached a total turnover of 9 million Euros. Organic food comprises only 0.12 % of total food consumption, but since accession to the EU there is every sign that the market is moving into a growth phase. Foreign manufacturers and traders are showing interest in the market, new organic shops and processing facilities are being opened and more supermarket chains offer more organic foods.
Picture: Albio Organic Supermarket in Prague
(Pictures can be enlarged by click)
Several new importers started bringing in a wider variety of organic foods early after EU accession and the number of organic foods on the market has more than doubled in eight months. It is expected that the market will grow significantly during the next five years. The main distribution channels for organic food are multiple retailers. Supermarkets have about a 60 % share of the market (152 outlets), health food shops and specialised organic shops have about a 30 % share (approx.150 outlets), other food retailers have 2.5 % and 7.5 % is sold directly from farms.
Most of the processed products are imported, mainly from the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Local processing facilities are not developed, with the exception of milk, beef, herb teas and spice processing. Many of the basic commodities, like fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk products, pork and poultry meat and fresh bakery products are still not available on a regular basis. Czech consumers are not aware of the principles of the organic production system, and only a small percentage of them regularly buy organic.
Most Czech organic food products are labelled with the Czech state organic logo (picture). Imported organic products can use the logo if they get an “equivalency” re-certification.
The export of organic products rose dramatically in 2003 and reached 9,200 t compared to 3 600 t in 2002 (a rise of 282 %). 68 % of organic products went to neighbouring Austria, more than six times as much as in 2002. The second largest market for Czech organic products is Germany, with 2 200 t exported in 2003, a comparable figure to 2002. Other growing export markets were Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, France and Poland. In 2004, the highest volume of goods was exported to Austria, with a total of 62 % of all exported production, Germany (24%) and Holland (10%). The main export products are buckwheat, spelt, rye and barley. 97 % of organic food produced in the Czech Republic is consumed there, only 3 % is exported.
Four Organic Food Wholesalers
There are four organic and natural food wholesalers operating in the Czech republic, with two of them operating only regionally. The largest two are Country Life and Pro-Bio, who also import, process and package organic food products. They both supply supermarkets as well as specialist shops with both imported and domestically manufactured organic foods. Two regional distributors (Vega Provita, Natural Kucirek) only supply independent food stores or specialists.
There are five main organic food importers: Country Life (picture), Pro-Bio, Vitek Trade, bio-nebio and Vrkoc (that stocks only the French Evernat and Bjorg brands). Country Life, as well as Lucni Udoli, a vegetable and fruit producer, have recently started to import and distribute fresh fruit and vegetables nationwide to specialised retail stores and restaurants. Bio-nebio is the only company importing Fair Trade products, mainly of the Rapunzel brand. Vitek Trade imports mainly processed organic products from Italy and distributes to specialist shops.
Country Life is a wholesaler of organic and natural food products, with the largest turnover and selection in the Czech Republic. It distributes to conventional as well as specialised retail and organic manufacturers throughout the Czech Republic. Country Life is the exclusive importer to the Czech Republic of the following brands (picture): Provamel/Alpro, Ekoland, Granovita, Bruno Fisher, Muso, NaturGreen, Monki, Eden, MolenAartje, Danival, Emil Noël, Lubs, Voelkel, Nutriops, Vitaquell, Strobel, Horizon, De Ritt, Plamil, Sipal, Tipiak, HoneyBar, Ecover and Jason. The delivery frequency is once a week, but the shops in Prague receive daily deliveries. There is a complete range of organic (about 750) and natural food products, including organic fruit and vegetables, body care (Jason, Durance), aromatherapy (Cosbionat) and household cleaning products (Ecover). About 40 employees work for the Country Life wholesale business. Country Life delivers organic food regularly to several hundred clients, mostly independent natural food shops, as well as supermarket chains, canteens and natural and organic food manufacturers.
Pro-Bio - Trading Company (not the Pro-Bio Farmers Organisation) currently supplies over 600 organic products, from drinks to convenience products, but only dry, packaged goods. Among the leading brands it distributes are Pro-bio own brands “Bioharmonie” and “Biolinie”, and imported products by Isola Bio, Sonnentor, Evernat, Bjorg, Jacoby, Davert and Zwergenwiese (picture). The distribution region is the whole Czech Republic, with the emphasis on Moravia and north Bohemia. The delivery frequency is once every two weeks to shops, canteens and manufacturers. 45 employees work at the wholesaler's which is located in Staré Mìsto, a town 180 km east of Prague.
Address: Lipová 40, CZ 788 32 Staré Mìsto p/Snìž
Contact person: Jana Salaquardova, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +420 583 239 549 / 35
Fax: +420 583 239 549
Na Dolech 10
586 01 Jihlava
Tel: 567 313 011
Fax: 567 313 010
Kunèièky u Bašky 247
739 01, Frýdek-Místek
Tel.: +420 558 649 315
+420 558 649 815
Fax: +420 558 649 315