The first time I visited BioFach was back in 1995. I was travelling with a friend of mine who has been one of the key officers responsible for organic farming issues in the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (well, if he ever reads this and wants to comment, he can put his name in). I remember we were quite interested in the degustation of organic wines and I did get long lasting friends at Perlage – their Cabernet is still available in the Finnish ‘Alko’ monopoly retailer as a result, and I think stil one of the organic best-sellers there.
In 1996 I was involved in a marketing project for organic-biodynamic food and had arranged a small booth for organic products from Finland. That is where the story of the world’s first organic liquorice started although the manufacturer Makulaku wasn’t aware of it before I introduced the idea to them half a year later. In 1997 the Nordic countries were the region of the year at BioFach and saw the biggest ever number of companies from Finland exhibiting at BioFach. After that I arranged the Makulaku stands until we started with joint Finland stand in 2004.
So this is the 12th time at BioFach and 11th time we have a stand at Biofach in one form or another. This year six companies participate at the Finland joint stand – five of them also members of Organic Food Finland Export Group. Helsinki Mills and Finnamyl have participated at the joint stand since 2004. For Kiantama, Maustaja and Virgino this is the first time. Also this is the time when we are introducing the NAPAPIIRI Organics range: six sugar-free preserves based on Nordic berries and 2 flavored hot cereal products. So far the response to the jams has been quite positive – we sent samples to some of our contacts as invitations to our stand – so we’ll see what BioFach brings along and if we can report some real business.
It seems that for me personally I see less and less of BioFach and am busier and busier at the stand. Even now my calendar is pretty full with meetings every hour or half-an-hour. We’ll see how that works with everyone rushing around more or less late. And then there are all the people who I should meet who don’t have an appointment. Lhassan, who is working at Organic Food Finland as Key Account Manager since last April will be busy on the stand.
Anyway I’ll see you there!