Organic Food: concept
Organic food, according to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, is defined as: all foods and agricultural products produced according to the standard of organic food planting, producing and processing, and recognized by organic food certification organizations.
Organic food has to satisfy the following four requirements:
- Organic material: all the materials used to produce the food must come from existing organic agricultural systems, or have to be natural products collected organically;
- Organic processing: the producing, processing, packaging, storage, and transportation of the products must all meet standardized procedures;
- Organic trace: all the procedures of the production process must be recorded;
- Organic recognition:all products have to be recognized by independent organizations.
Organic Food Online
Today, with the rise in the average income and the rising standards of life, many families in China are switching to purchasing organic food online. According to the statistics from Taobao (淘宝网:www.taobao.com), over the past month, there are about 20 thousand families in China that buy organic food online, with a daily total trade volume of over 0.5 million yuan.
Although online marketing of organic food is still new, it is developing very rapidly. In addition to Taobao(淘宝网), Jingdong(京东商城), Dangdang(当当), and Tmall(天猫) all also sell ‘organic food’ online. The product varieties include: grain and oil, fruit, vegetable, and even wines, beverages, tea, and condiments.
While the organic food channel of Taobao has only been around for about two months, it now boasts over 300 thousand customers. The main types of organic food traded are vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, grain and oil. Among these, organic dates, organic milk, organic tea and organic rice, the products that are the least likely to go bad during transportation, are most welcomed.
Organic Food: International Trade
Early in year 1990, the organic green tea of Zhejiang(浙江) was exported to Holland. At that time, the total volume of trade was only about 60 thousand dollars. By 2000, there were already over 200 types of recognized organic food in China, and the total volume of export reached 20 million dollars. The main foods exported were: tea, honey, soybean, buckwheat, wheat, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnut, and traditional Chinese medicinal materials. The targeted countries were: the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, France, and Holland.
Nowadays, China still exports many organic products abroad, but the quantity is far from satisfying the needs of the international market, so there huge potential remains for further development. China needs to expand production while ensuring quality, and correctly recognize the need of the market. If it does, it can gain a good reputation in foreign countries.