Tournay turns to organic ingredients

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Organic food

French supplier Tournay Biotechnologies is reacting to rising demand for organics by increasing its organic offerings despite premiums over non-organic versions that can rise to 250 per cent in some cases.

The company said booming interest in organics was translating into food supplements aisles where many of its organic versions were ending up, particularly fruit extracts like pomegranate, bilberry and cranberry.

But David Tournay noted exorbitant premiums could be off-putting for potential clients, as was the case with certain versions of organic cranberry extracts where supply was limited to two Canadian firms and premiums could sky-rocket above 200 per cent to reach prices of €70 per kilogram or more.

He cited an example of a German manufactured goods company that wanted to source some organic cranberry but aborted the project because of the ingredient cost.

Economies of scale

“But these kinds of premiums are rare,”​ Tournay told this morning. “Generally it is in the region of 15-20 per cent and the premiums are coming down as demand continues to grow and more organic production is undertaken.”

Bilberry, pomegranate, blackcurrent and green mate are offered organically with premiums of non-organic versions in this region.

“We are also investigating organic acai but this may not be possible since it is grown in the jungles of the Amazon and difficult to certify organic.”

While the company registers only five per cent of turnover in organics, it is “a major area of focus because we are committed to sustainability”, Tournay​ said.

The company’s main markets for organics are European with home country France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy featuring strongly. It has begun trading in the US market with organic cranberry and is looking to expand possibilities in the functional foods area.

Its other organic offerings include noni, ginseng, prunes, black radish, green coffee, flax and green and black tea.

Expanding production

The global market for organic products reached an estimated $46bn in 2007 with most products being consumed in North America and Europe.

In Europe the organically managed land area grew to almost 7.8m hectares (1.9 per cent of agricultural land) in 2007.

Substantial increases were seen in Spain, Poland and the UK and countries with the highest number of farms and the largest organic land area was Italy, followed by Spain, Germany and the UK.

Naturex organic

Fellow French​supplier,​Naturex, recently had its French plant certified organic last year as it seeks to build its global organics presence.​Its other plants in the US, Morocco and Italy would follow suit, possibly next year, said group marketing manager, Antoine Dauby.

That certification meets United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) and European Union standards.

At the time Naturex observed: “More and more consumers are purchasing organic food, dietary supplements and cosmetics through traditional trade channels.”

Naturex’s most popular organic offerings are rosemary, maca, green tea and guarana, but like Tournay, most of its business continues to be in non-organics.

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