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Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖL): Cluster Lebensmittel: 1) Lebensmittel und Lebensmittelverarbeitung, 2) Dienstleistungem im Bereich Lebensmittel

{ Programme part} BÖL: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖL): Cluster Lebensmittel: 1) Lebensmittel und Lebensmittelverarbeitung, 2) Dienstleistungem im Bereich Lebensmittel. [Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS): Cluster Food Systems: 1) Quality and Processing; 2) Food Service Sector (FSS).] Runs 2002 - 2008. Programme Leader(s): Lange, Stefan.

Full text not available from this repository.

Online at: http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de/ausschreibungen_f_und_e_massnahmen.html

Summary

The Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS): This scheme is a temporary funding source (2002 – 2007/2008) especially to support the whole organic farming sector (incl. research) in Germany. In the summer of 2001, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture commissioned a project team comprised of representatives from associations and science and headed by the Federal Agricultural Research Centre to develop a proposal for a package of measures to foster organic farming in Germany. A hearing of representatives from trade and industry, associations, consultancy, science and administration laid the foundation for the team's work. Based on this work, the Federal Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture Renate Künast decided to incorporate the proposed measures into the Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS) to translate them into practice. This scheme supplements existing support measures with the aim of improving the basic conditions necessary for expanding organic farming. At the same time, it strives to increase supply and demand on a balanced, sustainable basis. These measures tackle all levels of organic farming, from the production to the consumption of organically produced food. Plans include training and information measures. Emphasis is also being placed on research promotion, the development of new technologies and steps to translate research findings into practice. Currently the FOFS is the main pool of the BMVEL for organic research funding.
Cluster Food Systems
1) Food quality and Processing
Within the Federal Organic Farming Scheme far more projects have been submitted and realised regarding food quality than processing. Research about food quality is mainly carried out by universities and public bodies with research divisions concentrating on laboratory investigations. Research about food processing is interesting for companies inventing e.g. new production systems, but only a few project proposals were handed in. Often the support for small innovative food companies goes in conflict with the funding guidelines evaluating the funding as a distortion of competition distinguishing between small-scale business promotion and market intervention.
A comparison of the amount of realised projects in the category food quality and processing with other organic research categories clearly shows a deficit in this area. On the one hand, only a few project proposals have been handed in after the call for this category. This is due to several reasons:
It is and stays difficult to measure the gained health status of organic products objectively beyond the given facts (e.g. less residue and pesticide contamination). It lacks suitable parameters as well as experience concerning relevant methods for measuring quality. Here, it is a great challenge to validate holistic methods for quality analysis, in comparison to already established conventional analysis and make them available for practitioners. Current projects of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme are dealing with these subjects.
On the other hand, organic food processing is partly affected by small structures. Several small companies with many innovative ideas exist. In comparison to experienced third-party fund raisers of universities, these companies have less experience and capacities for the successful application of project proposals. Their project ideas often include features of company promotion hampering the support as a research project. Anyway, at present, the organic food sector is little structured to communicate their problems combined to research institutes and project executing organisations.
An important research focus of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme BÖL is the quality of organic food produced. Several investigations already have shown that because of the ban of synthetic pesticides, residue contamination of organic products is considerably less. It is far more difficult to determine, whether organic products have a different composition than conventionally grown products, if the contents of specific components (e.g. secondary plant ingredients) are significantly higher and the consumption of organic food implements have an objectively detectable excess for the health of the consumer. These questions have been and still are being investigated in several projects dealing e.g. with fruit, vegetables, cereals and fish.
In this context, it is important to consider, which analytical methods are being chosen. By using only the methods confirmed for the conventional sector, the acceptance of the results from the organic point of view will be little. Similar scepticism appears from the conventional point of view when only results from holistic methods are being generalised. Therefore, one key project of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme BÖL investigates about the differentiation and classification of organic products using validated analytical and holistic methods. For comparative measurements, samples of conventional and organic products (wheat, apples, carrots) receive a code and are being analysed by analytical and holistic methods (e.g. copper chloride crystallisation, fluorescence-spectroscopy, physiological amino acid status). The contents of secondary plant ingredients are determined and sensory investigations carried out, in order to do a comparative analysis of plant resources from conventional and organic systems. Furthermore, investigations consider whether the location of production and type of cultivar have a higher or lower impact on the quality of ingredients than the farming technique itself.
2) Food Service Sector (FSS)
Organic agriculture can only then grow in a sustainable manner and be economically sound, if its products and services are accepted and demanded broadly by society. For this, not only private consumption plays a role, but equally bulk consumers. They play a key role for the stabilisation and increase of this demand.
In order to better use the shown potential of organic products for the FSS in future, several projects (2002 – present) were realised within the Federal Organic Farming Scheme: restraints, success factors and development opportunities for the use of organic goods, questions concerning certification and control of organic products in the food service sector.
Large amounts of food are purchased and processed by catering firms and hotels, canteens, schools, hospitals and other public institutions. They also represent a stable market outlet. Furthermore, they have high requirements of the delivered goods concerning health issues, because of their partly sensitive clientel, which include children, patients, convalescence patients and restaurant guests. Hence, the sales opportunities for organically produced goods are very clear.
Nevertheless, even the partial conversion of public catering to organic products is connected to great challenges: suppliers have to guarantee a homogenous and sufficiently large amount. Furthermore, freshness and quality of the raw materials have to be assured from the producer up to the processing in the canteen kitchen. Even the kitchen staff needs to adapt to a few changes, such as purchase, storage, seasonal availability, menu composition and price calculations, as these deviate from conventional processes. Additionally, a precise communication strategy is necessary for the introduction phase of organic products.
All of the above-mentioned problems can be solved. Still, many kitchen managers and those responsible for the food service sector are reluctant to introduce and use organic products due to the sum of hurdles that need to be overcome.
Another challenge for companies in the FSS that want to process and offer organic goods, are the labelling and certification requirements for such products. According to the legal requirements, all companies in the food service sector need to go through the control system of the EU Regulation on organic agriculture, if they want to use organic products and label them as such. Many companies in this sector that were using organic products, were not certified, as they were unaware of the inspection requirements. The inspection bodies also have large gaps: many do not have specially trained personnel and suitable forms for the FSS. The inspection bodies, which have experience with the food service sector, possess standardised forms for processing companies. According to them, there are four core differences between companies in the FSS compared to other processing companies in the organic food sector:
- Companies in the food service sector generally do not work with fixed recipes
- Labelling cannot be done directly on the product
- There is a large problem with the delivery of the goods
- There is often a lack of documentation, which hampers the control of the flow of goods
In the past, the bureaucratic effort of certification scared off many responsible persons in this sector, who were generally willing to partially or fully convert to organic products. It is interesting to note the result of a survey from 2003, conducted by the Federal Organic Farming Scheme: Two thirds of the managers of establishments rejected the additional effort related to labelling and inspection. Simultaneously though, 60 % of the interviewees signalised a willingness to buy, process and offer organic goods without organic labelling, as they can market them well with the term “organic” in their menus. Apparently, the quality of organic products are convincing enough for the food service sector personnel (while purchasing), as well as for the guests to pay a higher price for a qualitatively higher raw material and accordingly healthy and delicious food.
Youths and Organic Products
Children and youths receive special attention within the FSS projects of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme. On the one hand, healthy nourishment for adolescents is essential, on the other hand, children have quite an influence on the purchasing habit within their families – much more than anticipated at first. And finally, these youths are the clients of tomorrow.
One focal point in the Federal Organic Farming Scheme is an exemplary scheme to introduce organic products for meals in schools and day-care centres. Currently, there is a network of several projects located in rural areas, as well as in large cities like Berlin or Hamburg. The office of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme is organising an exchange of experiences between the different stakeholders of the projects concerning successes and restraints. In order to make opportunities and requirements regarding the implementation of organic goods in schools and day-care centres available to a large public, a booklet is currently being issued.
Other activities in the context of Organic Food Management
The dedication of the Federal Scheme concerning the food service sector, organic catering and gastronomy go far beyond research and exemplary projects. Meanwhile, extensive information is offered in printed format as well as on the internet for bulk consumers from catering, gastronomy, event and food service sectors. These publications cover information for the introduction of organic foods (economics, convenience in canteen kitchens, basics in hygiene and storage, personnel training), as well as precise help in daily planning and work with organic products in communal feeding (e.g. shopping schedule, assortment list, recipe finder, costing calculator, seasonal calendar).


EPrint Type:Research Programme description
Part or Full Programme:Part of programme/Cluster of projects
Keywords:Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau, BÖL, Federal Organic Farming Scheme, FOFS, Germany
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems
Food systems > Markets and trade
Food systems > Processing, packaging and transportation
Research funders: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN
Germany > Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung - BLE
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de/ausschreibungen_f_und_e_massnahmen.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-oekonomie-marktentwicklung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-oekonomie-vermarktung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-lebensmittel.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-lebensmittel-ausser-haus.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-lebensmittel-verabeitung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-lebensmittel-qualitaet.html
Acronym:BÖL
Start Date:1 January 2002
End Date:31 December 2008
Deposited By: Geschäftsstelle Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau, Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE)
ID Code:5971
Deposited On:29 Sep 2005
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:28

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