“Lankan organic exporters could be strategic suppliers to EU”

The European Union (EU) is by far the fastest-growing organic market worldwide to which Sri Lankan organic exporters could become strategic suppliers, said Chief Delegate of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka Andreas Hergenröther.
The global market for organic food reached Euro 106 billion in 2019, Hergenröther said while addressing a seminar to raise awareness among potential exporters and industry representatives to increase export capacities of organic products to the EU conducted by Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) with the German Agency of International Development Cooperation (GIZ), conducted in Kandy last week.
He said retail sales in the European Union (EU) were valued at EURO 41.4 billion. As the largest organic retail sales market in the EU, Germany accounted for Euro 11,970 million in 2019.
Major Sri Lankan organic products exported to the EU include cinnamon, coconut-based products, organic tea, tropical fruits such as papaya, pineapple, banana, and vegetables such as potato, carrots, leeks, and legumes.
Sri Lankan exporters in the organic sector were briefed on the procedure of exporting organic products from Sri Lanka to the EU and support mechanisms such as matchmaking support and the ‘develoPPP.de program’ of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Change Agent of GIZ, Shalindri Perera, introduced the develoPPP.de Program to the organic-sector exporters and discussed the criteria needed to embark on a develoPPP.de program together with the GIZ SME Sector Development Program in Sri Lanka.
The criteria included being a for-profit business, making a 50% contribution to the project, and a minimum annual turnover. Private companies engaged in the organic sector, with project ideas with a clear community/social impact were encouraged to apply for the developpp.de Program. AHK Sri Lanka the official representative of German business in Sri Lanka presented information on key topics concerning the EU legislations for organic farming, technical regulations and controls, certifications, standards, packaging, labelling, logistics, risk management, and other requirements of the European consumer.
Udani Mendis representing Bio Food (Pvt) Ltd an organic products exporter stressed the importance of certification and their success story in the EU market.