Tag Archives: trade

China topped list of organic exporters to the EU in 2019

Natural Products Global – June 30, 2020 – Jim Manson

China was the biggest exporter of organic agri-food products to the EU during 2019, followed by Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Ukraine and Turkey, according to new analysis released by the European Commission.

Colombia and Kazakhstan entered the top ten suppliers for the first time.

The Netherlands was the single biggest importer of organic imports into the EU (32%). Other important importing EU Member States of organic products include Germany (13 %), the UK (12 %) and Belgium (11 %). Organic imports in Member States which joined the EU after 2004 remain minor at slightly above 3 %.

The ten most imported product categories represented 82 % of total organic import volumes in 2019. First came tropical fruit, nuts and spices with 27% (0.9 million tonnes), followed by oilcakes (mainly for animal feed) with 12 % (0.4 million t), followed by cereals other than wheat and rice and by beet and cane sugar (both 7 %, 0.2 million t).

Overall, organic import levels remained stable in 2019, amounting to 

3.24 million t of organic agri-food products. Commodities represented 54% of 2019 imports, a slight decrease compared to the previous year. The share of imports of other primary products increased to 38 %.

For some of the products categories surveyed, organic imports represent a significant share of total imports. Of olive oil imports in the EU, for example, almost 20 % are estimated to be organic. For the other product categories, organic imports represent up to a maximum of 10 % of total imports, and for the large majority less than 5 %. Overall, organic agri-food imports are estimated to represent about 2 % of total volume of agri-food imports.

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The dark side of the tea trade | DW Documentary – 28 min

Why are Indian tea workers not benefiting from the global tea boom? July 3, 2018

Why are Indian tea workers not benefiting from the global tea boom? Many tea workers live in bitter poverty, while others profit from their labor. In Germany, consumers are prepared to pay high prices for top-quality tea. But tea plantation workers in Darjeeling and Assam are not benefiting from the global tea culture boom. They live in squalid conditions, with no access to clean drinking water or sanitation. Though they are exposed to highly toxic pesticides at work, they are not equipped with any kind of protective clothing. And yet some of the tea produced under such conditions is labeled as Fair Trade Certified. In response to the findings of this report, some manufacturers have seen their Fair Trade certifications suspended or withdrawn. The combination of pesticide use and grinding poverty on tea plantations is particularly harmful for workers’ children. Professor Anup Kumar from Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh says the dismal living and working conditions affect children before they are even born. “Children on the tea plantations are poorly nourished, their growth and development is delayed, and child mortality is high.” Ultimately, the pesticides used in tea farming also end up in consumers’ tea cups. Researchers found up to eight different types of pesticides in Indian tea sold in German supermarkets. Many of these substances are so dangerous that they are banned in Germany.

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