Wednesday, April 7, 2010

EAST EUROPE: Organic Farming Blossoms

"PRAGUE, Apr 1, 2010 (IPS) - Eastern Europe's organic food industry is mushrooming as it brushes off the effects of the global recession, and more consumers in the region turn to healthier foods.

Some countries now have twice as much agricultural land turned over to organic farming as those in Western Europe, and experts are predicting a bright future for the industry in the former communist bloc.

Christof Arndt, project coordinator at the Dresden-based EkoConnect non- profit group promoting organic agriculture in Eastern Europe, told IPS: "The last few years have seen a huge rise in organic farming, food production and consumption in Eastern Europe, and the market is developing really quickly - despite the recession."

In Eastern Europe under communism, almost all farming was collectivised and controlled by the state. When the regimes fell, some farmers began offering organic products. These were initially seen as a curiosity by many consumers, and organic food became available in the mass market only slowly. "

Read the article