The Country Teams of SIPPO Serbia, Tunisia and Vietnam accompanied BSOs at Biofach 2023, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food in Nuremberg, Germany. This was nicely mirrored in the slogan of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce at Serbia’s national pavilion: “We speak organic – from tradition into innovation”. High ranking officials of SECO visited the stands of Serbia and Tunisia. In a joint effort, SIPPO Tunisia and the TRIC partner IPD supported the presence of the Tunisian BSOs at the fair. SMEs from Peru and Colombia were also present.
As part of SIPPO’s capacity development activities for The Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (CCIS) in improving the export promotion services, SIPPO Serbia trained CCIS and its companies and supported them in the preparation, implementation, and follow-up of Biofach. This was also a great opportunity to show how SIPPO’s new Guiding Principles (GPST) can be put into practice.
The Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (CCIS) is delivering export promotion services for the Natural Ingredients sector with a focus on organic products, such as frozen fruits and berries and mushrooms. Lately they also encouraged Serbian companies to implement more sustainable supply chains.
SIPPO Serbia supported the CCIS with a pre-training program for the participating companies. This included company visits to assess the sustainability strategies and actions of the potential exhibitors, a workshop with the CCIS to strengthen their organizational performance with regards to the Biofach participation, and the support to the CCIS team in conducting 4 interactive workshops with the companies as a preparatory step for their Biofach participation.
National pavilion of Serbia with 12 organically certified companies
Under the guidance and with support of SIPPO Serbia, CCIS organised a national pavilion with 12 organically certified companies from Serbia. They all participated under the claim “We speak organic – organic products from Serbia – from tradition into innovation”.
As part of the overall concept of promoting the Sustainability Guiding Principle “Partnership for Sustainability” in practice, events with several organisations were organized at the pavilion, with the long-term aim to promote multistakeholder partnerships and international sector initiatives for cooperation and to share experiences in the organic sector: IPD (Dr. Julia Bellinghausen), Nature Preserve (Julie Schack Petersen), the FairWild Foundation (Deborah Vorhies), Organic Sweden (Elias Kvarnbäck) and Organic Services GmbH (Gemma Julià Camprodon). The guest speakers addressed topics such as the advantages of the TRIC network, calculation tools for CO2 food print, certification of sustainable wild collection, the Swedish organic market and how to organize Internal Control Systems (ICS) in a more efficient and sustainable way. CCIS would like to further develop such partnerships in the future and thus strengthen their network.
Visit of a delegation of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
A delegation of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with Martin Peter, Deputy Head of Trade Promotion, and Silvan Hungerbühler, Programme Manager at SECO visited the Serbian and the Tunisian pavilion. They underlined the importance of sustainable supply chains for the organic industry in Switzerland. The delegation was guided across the stands and, at the Serbian pavilion, received an introduction to the sustainability achievements of each of the 12 companies.
Strong presence of Tunisia
The Tunisian BSO APIA is delivering export promotion services for the Natural Ingredients (NI) sector with a focus on organic products such as olive oil, dates and derivatives, medicinal and aromatic plants, sugar substitutes, Moringa, flavorings/essential oils, fruit-based and seed-based ingredients. At the fair they presented themselves together with the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture (DGAB).
As SIPPO and IBD both work with APIA, they designed a joint programme for Biofach. They supported APIA in the preparation, implementation, and follow-up of the Biofach exhibition, updated APIAs NI export promotion strategy and developed the network of APIA and DGAB with relevant representatives of the organic sector in view of the World Organic Congress 2024.
At a successful meeting with the Swiss delegation from SECO, IFOAM, FibL, the visions of each party in relation to the prospects of the organic sector, its development strategy and challenges were shared, and SIPPO’s interventions in supporting APIA were discussed. The synergies between SIPPO and PAMPAT, a VC-SECO project, were also highlighted.
SIPPO Vietnam accompanied its BSOs to Biofach 2023 in a joint effort with Biotrade, a project also funded by SECO. They used the trade fair to fulfil one of SIPPO’s mandates which is to connect BSOs so that they can expand their network. SIPPO Vietnam brought two BSOs, the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association - VOAA and the Center for Rural Economy Development, to the national pavilions of Peru (PROMPERU), Colombia (PROCOLOMBIA), Argentina, Serbia, and the stand of the Organic Trade for Development (OT4D), a project implemented by Helvetas and funded by SECO.
Before the start of the Biofach, the SIPPO Vietnam team and the BSO CRED (Center for Rural Economy Development) from Vietnam took part in a market observation organised by colleagues from PROMPERU and PROCOLOMBIA for selected exporters. They visited German retailers, organic stores in Nuremberg, Germany and supermarkets of different segments. They learned a lot of valuable and insightful facts about the market's requirements in terms of labelling, packaging and price ranges.
Peru and Colombia
Over 30 SMEs from Peru and companies from Colombia of were also present at Biofach 2023. PROMPERU and PROCOLOMBIA both are delivering export promotion services in the NI sector. This year Peru, supported by SIPPO, participated for the first time at the Vivaness Exhibition (side exhibition of Biofach) and supported new SMEs in the development of market orientation plans in the Cosmetics subsector. Several companies also visited several organisations and supermarkets in Germany, where BSOs learned about the potential for their products in Europe and the related buyer requirements.