The Kaufland food chain has expanded its cooperation with Demeter and is now a member of the Bio-Verband. Demeter wants to create more sales opportunities for its farmers and win customers who usually only buy from conventional food retailers. The Federal Association for Natural Foods and Natural Products is critical of this.

In order to send a “clear signal for more organic, more sustainability and more support for the environment and nature”, the Kaufland food retail chain has joined the Demeter Association as a member by concluding a trademark usage contract. The goal was formulated by Yalcin Cem, Managing Director Purchasing Organic Food and Drugstore at Kaufland: “As a member we can make an even better contribution to the growth of biodynamic agriculture and actively help shape projects”. The continuous expansion of the organic product range is the focus of Kaufland’s corporate and sustainability strategy.

According to its own information, the food retail chain currently lists around 2,600 organic articles. Since October 2018 Kaufland has been cooperating with Demeter manufacturers and producers. Initially Demeter dairy products were sold, but now the Kaufland range includes more than 250 Demeter articles. These include fruit and vegetables, juices, baby food, tinned food, oils, breakfast articles and pastries. By joining, Kaufland also undertakes to comply with the Demeter quality and fair play standards for the trade.

“To make it possible for more farmers to farm biodynamically in order to conserve natural resources – that also means creating new markets, addressing completely new target groups”, comments Demeter board member Johannes Kamps-Bender on the new liaison. In order to help shape the trade in Demeter products, “when working with new partners in the food retail trade, agreements would be made for staff training, customer information, a minimum organic range and financial participation in biodynamic development projects such as research, education and organic breeding in accordance with Demeter’s marketing principles. In addition, a fair play agreement is concluded for negotiations with producers.

Meanwhile, headwinds are coming from the Federal Association of Natural Foods Naturwaren (BNN). “Organic for everyone is a good goal, but not at any price. The organic sector is concerned with healthy, sustainably and fairly produced food. It sets the highest standards here. We represent values to which a national system trading company usually does not feel obliged”, comments BNN board member Volkmar Spielberger on the new partnership. Demeter must now be measured by whether the standards set for Kaufland are actually implemented.