Strong growth in Dutch organic food sector

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The Dutch are becoming increasingly sensitive to the well-being of humans, animals and the environment when buying food in a supermarket or ordering food in a restaurant.

The economic affairs ministry announced on Wednesday that turnover for the organic food sector had  increased by about 30 percent compared to the year before for the second time in a row.

The steady growth can largely be explained through a strong increase in the supply of organic meat. And in 2011 many supermarkets adjusted their range to include a larger selection of organic and fair-trade products.

Sales of products carrying the popular EKO hallmark saw a 20.1 percent increase to a total turnover of 134.4 million euros, the biggest increase in 10 years. Turnover for the animal-friendly products carrying the Beter Leven (a better life) hallmark nearly doubled.

Beter Leven is an initiative of the Dutch animal protection society intended to encourage farmers to change over to more humane production methods. The more sustainable and animal-friendly the product, the more stars – one, two or three –on the label.

The total market share of organically produced food in 2011 grew from 3.5 to 4.5 percent.


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