Satisfied with BioFach

BioFach 2009 is over and most of us are already back home. Now starts the hard work of transforming all the nice meetings and discussions into business. Well – not all, but at least some. In advance myself – and I am sure many others – were wondering how the economic downturn would effect the outcome. Will there be as many people visiting as last year? Probably there would not be any growth. During the show the commonest sentiment seemed to be – and I shared it – that there were slightly less visitors than last year but the quality of contact was good. Thursday and Friday were so busy that I was totally stuck on the stand. To me it seemed that there was less people from Asia and probably also from North America. The information given by BioFach pretty much confirms this. According to their press release the number of visitors was roughly 46.000 so pretty much the same as 2008. So I think we can be happy with that.

Finland was represented this year by 12 companies of which 7 in the Organic Food Finland Export Group. 11 companies were on the joint stand while one was separately in Hall 1. We were for the first time in Hall 3 after being for years in Hall 1. Probably it was more quite there but I suppose most people who wanted to find us, did. However we might consider going back to Hall 1.  Also for the first time we cooperated with Sweden which was positive. As long as the cooperation can be kept uncomplicated and straight-forward it is worth it. Spokesman, the Finnish representative of Nuerenberg Messe, did a great job in running the whole thing together. Maybe next year we will have also Norway with us and look for cooperation with Denmark – the country of the year in 2009. Denmark’s stand area was huge this year but will certainly be smaller (still big) in 2010.

Four of the OFF companies were also presenting products under the Napapiiri Organics brand. The preserves from Maustaja were already presented last year but the juices from Greenfinn’s, the Porridge from Helsinki Mills and the “Rote Grütze” from Finnamyl were presented for the first time as ready products that can actually be ordered.

One of the first-timers on the Finnish stand was ViiniVerla, the one and only organic winery in Finland. The fantastic products – wines, sparklings, liquors are made of Finnish berries. “Verlados” is a Calvados type spirit made of apple. The products received extremily positive feedback. I am sure ViiniVerla’s next problem will be meeting demand.

The Stand Party on Friday evening was a nice success. Sweden supplied the music – former Abba guitarist Janne Scaffer, and Finland offered Viiniverla’s sparklings and there was snack to eat from both sides. Some even danced. A real success!

The BioFach 2009 was good – and we can better it in 2010.

New prodcts in the Napapiiri Organics range from Finland.

New prodcts in the Napapiiri Organics range from Finland.

Several new products from the Napapiiri Organics brand will be launched to the international market this
spring. The Sea Buckthorn and Wild Bilberry flavored Oatmeal from Helsinki Mills Ltd, The Bilberry Kissel
Dessert from Finnamyl Ltd and the range of Cold Pressed Berry Juices from Greenfinn’s Ltd will be
presented at the BioFach exhibition next week. BioFach is the most important international exhibition for
organic products and it is held in Nuerenberg, Germany next week (19th – 22nd February 2009).

Napapiiri Organics is a joint brand that was developed in the Organic Food Finland group. The brand was
developed for the international market and the range consists of organic quality products from Finland. The
main target markets are in Europe and Asia. The joint brand underlines pure, authentic and wild nature and
the special arctic conditions of the north which are considered strengths of Finnish origin. Also the true
connection to the nature that the Finns and people of the north still have with the old ageless wisdom are
present in the Napapiiri Organics brand image.

The Sea Buckthorn and Wild Bilberry flavored Oatmeal produced by Helsinki Mills Ltd is a tasty and
nutritious meal that encompasses the benefits of oats and berries.  The portion bags of the Napapiiri
Organics Oatmeal offer an easy and fast way of preparing the oatmeal by just mixing the portion bag with
hot water.

A delicious Finnish style berry snack or dessert can easily be prepared from the Bilberry Kissel portion bag
from Finnamyl Ltd. ”Kissel” is a traditional Finnish dessert which is well known also in the other Nordic
countries and Russia. It combines high energy content and the delicious taste of berries. The Kissel powder
portion bag is easy to take with you anywhere and fast to prepare.

Greenfinn’s produces the Napapiiri Organics range of juices with cold pressing which enables them to
preserve as much as possible of the beneficial properties of the berries. The 100% cold pressed juices from
Sea Buckthorn, Wild Bilberry, Mountain Cranberry, Wild Cranberry and Black Currant create a tasty and
healthy range of juices.

For more information please contact
Marja Nuora
Napapiiri Organics
gsm. 050-5862697

BioFach next week: Organic North

Well everyone in the organic movement / industry knows BioFach. But I believe there must be a lot pf people who visit BioFach who don’t really know the history. I made a presentation to the group of Finnish companies exhibiting at BioFach this year some weeks back. I wanted to give them some background information: when and where was BF started. It was surprisingly difficult to find that information anywhere. You don’t find it at It took quite a lot of effort on google to find anything but finally I did find an article from the German EVE magazine – actually the number published for this BioFach. It hadn’t reached me in print yet. BioFach becomes 20 years this year! It started in 1990 in Mannheim. It moved to Wiesbaden, to Frankfurt and in 1999 to Nürnberg. In 2001 Nürnberg Messe acquired BioFach.

I visited BioFach for the first time in 1995 in Frankfurt. We were the first from Finland to exhibit in 1996.I organized the Finnish pavillion in 1997 when the Nordic countries where the Region of the Year. Since 1996 I have exhibited almost every year. Since 2004 I have exhibited with Organic Food Finland, the export group for organic products from Finland. This year there will be 7 companies from OFF and 4 others companies exhibiting from Finland – the biggest number since 1997.

This is also the first year since 1997 that we are back to some kind of Nordic cooperation – if only between Finland and Sweden. Denmark – where the organic export business is by far bigger – is Country of Year with a huge 1000 m2 stand area in Hall 1. Finland and Sweden – under the “Organic North” banner will have 300 m2 together in Hall 3. Good start and I hope we will benefit from each other.

As you can see “Organic North” has been designed as one block in two parts. We hope to benefit from each others pre-marketing and communication and we are arranging the Friday Night Party together. Welcome! The Swedes have made a lot of noise about Janne Schaffer – the former ABBA guitarist – who will play live on Friday Night. ABBA is obviously important! Snack will be provided from both sides and as the Finnish speciality of 2009 we are providing the drinks: organic sparkling wines from ViiniVerla, the only organic berry winery in Finland. Come and have a taste! I think ViiniVerla will need to find only 1-2 customers in Europe and the business is pretty much done. And you’ll be surprised by the taste and quality. They do have liqueurs and spirits as well!

The other first time ever is the fact that the Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mrs Anttila will visit BioFach. Until now we have done BioFach pretty much alone – or let’s say business driven – without the kind of political support f.ex the Danish and Swedish organic industry is getting. No speeches and press conferences etc with lots of people in black suits. I’m not sure how much it helps the business anyway but I certainly do believe that it will have a profound impact on the understanding of the organic industry on the side of the Finnish Minister. Only once a higher-ranking official from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture has visited BioFach – and that was in 1997! I think they don’t have a clue of how big the business is. And why have they never come? I am afraid the main reason might be pretty “funny”. Week 8 is the winter holiday week in South Finland. You go with your family to Lapland, to the Alps or whatever but you don’t go to an exhibition in the middle of Germany. Guess who hasn’t had a proper winter holiday with his kids since 1995?

Well – see you all at BioFach next week and let’s hope the economic downturn isn’t affecting the number of visitors too badly. See you!