The programme for the BIOFACH Congress on the theme“Or ganic. Food Sovereignty. True Prices.” already suggests that the industry will be facing some daunting tasks in 2023. However, two cross-forum topics in the BIOFACH congress programme convey a sense that concrete solutions are within touching distance. The discussion about labelling has prompted a drive to provide consumers with more guidance and clarity. Retailers are being called upon to see the current uncertainties as an opportunity to adopt a clear position. The VIVANESS congress programme as well, is as diverse as the issues driving the sector and focuses on sustainability, partnerships, trends and market developments.
As recently as the end of November 2022, the EU Commission announced that it was postponing the publication of its draft “Green Claims” directive. For many, this offered a welcome breathing space. There has been criticism of the directive: “The PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) is not a suitable method for adequately assessing the environmental performance of agricultural produce and food products,” as the BNN (German Association of Organic Processors, Wholesalers and Retailers) puts it, for example. Which systems, therefore, evaluate foodstuffs with respect to their usefulness and sustainability? And which systems are so transparent that they make consumers feel they are being taken seriously and inspire trust in the food industry? Various forums will discuss these issues and present solutions for more guidance for consumers. In this context, the issues of labelling and certifications like ‘B Corp’ or ‘We care’ come into play.
How does the retail sector make itself fit for the future?
Whereas consumers are increasingly concerned about being more sustainable in their consumption, the retail sector is exploring the question of where people will shop in the future and which concepts will prevail. The topics discussed by industry trailblazers in the Specialist Retail Forum in Hall 9 include: which messages reach new customers; what the future requirements of a modern workplace will look like; how the trend toward regional foodstuffs is shaping product ranges; and, how the organic retail segment is successfully evolving as an ambassador for a qualitative shift towards greater sustainability Incidentally, independent retailers are also dealing with similar issues, and the congress programme offers three events specifically with them in mind.
Thematic diversity at the VIVANESS Congress
The congress programme offers a wealth of sessions, covering the facts and figures of current market developments, market insights, consumer insights, as well as more emotional topics such as collaborations and partnerships. The programme reflects the issues that are driving the sector, such as new packaging concepts, the circular economy, the increasing importance of sustainability for industry and commerce, and ‘cleanwashing’.
Over a total of four congress days (Tuesday to Friday) the sector will explore the issues that are relevant for the future. Alongside the Specialist Retail Forum, the Sustainability, Politics, Science and BIOFACH forums all offer exciting approaches for discussion. Following its introduction in 2022, the Agriculture Forum remains an integral part of the congress programme. Certain forum presentations will be recorded and can then be watched as videos on the digital event platform (videos on demand).
In 2023, the theme of the BIOFACH Congress is “Organic. Food Sovereignty. True Prices.” For more information, click here.
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 Press Release dated 30.11.2022, n-bnn.de/Aktuelles