Half of the French population say that they have changed shopping habits or eating patterns over the past three years. For 48% of French people, this means adopting locally-sourced products and short supply chains, a criterion which features among the top five commitments by French people for healthy eating and better eating1. This movement is set to gain momentum, in particular due to growing awareness of the importance of food sovereignty.

©Natexpo (2021). Masks were not obligatory according to public health guidance at the time

Natexpo 2022: 18-20 September

Consumers expect these guarantees of proximity and origin from organic companies, who are thus required to provide additional evidence of their responsibility, whatever their sector of activity. This is why Natexpo is offering centre stage to locally-sourced products. The tradeshow places particular emphasis on companies active in their communities by inaugurating a dedicated visitor trail, and offers visitors an opportunity to discover local French know-how in the form of 10 regional pavilions.

A new themed visitor trail on local products

The international tradeshow for organic products proposes a new themed visitor trail focussing on companies active in their local communities. From 18 to 20 September, visitors will thus be able to immediately identify professionals that are engaged in approaches combining organic and local, so as to meet them directly and discuss their desire to favour short supply chains. Natexpo thus offers people the opportunity to target potential new partners on precise origin criteria to stand out in an organic market which is becoming increasingly demanding on this point. Among the information provided: the radius in which ingredients are sourced, the percentage of ingredients from a local supply chain, the place where the product is made and packed, and information on specific labels or regional wording.

Local know-how in the organic sector will be particularly highlighted this year by Natexpo with 10 regional pavilions

In addition, local considerations will lie at the heart of the show’s content, in particular through talks held on the theme. Visitors will be able to attend three presentations in the Agora area:

  • «Local products: feedback from a French and low carbon factory, with Naturopera»
  • «Local range: the leading selling point in organic shops, with Caroline Girard from Cluster Bio and a member of the firm So.Bio»
  • «The impact of a local brand in the support and development of a market vertical: example of the Isère brand, with Alpes Control»

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: a historical stronghold for organic in France

Local know-how in the organic sector will be particularly highlighted this year by Natexpo with 10 regional pavilions representing a quarter of the show’s surface area. Among them, the show’s host region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the leading region in the country in terms of organic processing and retail (3,100 companies) and in third place for organic farms (7,321 farms) and organically-farmed area (10,5% of Utilised Agricultural Land). In 2021, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional chamber of agriculture supported more than 6,000 farmers in their conversion to organic, and in the last six months of the year, the region accounted for two thirds of new organic shops opening in France!2

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is the leading region in the country in terms of organic processing and retail

The region, represented by the non-profit Cluster Bio, will exhibit in the show’s largest regional pavilion. Around 50 firms will be showing on this stand, reflecting the diversity of organic stakeholders in the region in terms of both activity and size. Food, cosmetics, dietary supplements, organic ingredients: from boutique firms to SMEs and even the largest historical players in organic, this pavilion also mirrors the exhaustive organic offering at Natexpo Lyon 2022!

©Natexpo (2021)

Particularities, trends and food sovereignty: Insights from Adrien Petit, Director of Cluster Bio Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

What are the particularities of the organic sector in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes?

Adrien Petit: The combination of the pioneers of organic farming and a very agro-industrial regional fabric quickly elevated us to the rank of leading region for the number of organic processors, with leading and historic organic companies such as Markal, Ekibio, La Vie Claire, Ecotone, Pain de Belledonne, Eau Vive and, Sanoflore.

In addition, already back in 2006 the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Authority identified organic farming as a hub of excellence and competitiveness for the region, resulting, among other things, in the creation of our Cluster, the only one in Europe dedicated to products from organic farming. This dynamic of federated companies has created a sense of emulation, making it attractive to project leaders. Our region has also seen the creation of renowned non-profit organisations, such as Cosmébio, Biopartenaire, Terre de Liens and Biovallée.

Agriculturally, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is the third largest region for organic farming in France, with 7,321 farms certified or converting to organic at the end of 2020. Organic farming accounted for 10.5% of the region’s Utilised Agricultural Area in 2020, compared to 9.49% nationwide. This third place is notably linked to the region’s polyculture, reinforced in 2016 when Rhône-Alpes merged with Auvergne.

Around 50 firms will be showing on Cluster Bio’s stand, reflecting the diversity of organic stakeholders in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

What are the region’s new organic trends?

AP: Companies are getting into eco-packaging and deposit return, in plant-based alternatives, lacto-fermentation, zero-waste, augmented organic, i.e. organic approaches with additional local or vegan guarantees, etc.

What does the future hold for organic in the medium and longer terms?

AP: We are hearing a lot of talk about food sovereignty at the moment. It is also a question people are asking regionally. The trend is therefore to relocate production, manufacturing and consumption more locally. This is an important development for the market verticals, the development of organic surface area and organic production. Cluster Bio has planned to speak on four occasions during the show. In particular, the organisation will give a talk on the theme «Local produce in shops, a stand-out feature».

1. Agence Bio / CSA Barometer.
2. Cluster Bio.

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