Since the begging of the 21st century, the European Union (EU) has been committed to the transition in the agricultural production, moving from the conventional methods to organic and environmentally friendly techniques. The European Commission has established different requirements for products to be considered BIO. Bio certifications have now invaded the food packaging and thus, the markets and supermarkets aisles. The requirements to get this type of certificates have implied a challenge to many producers around Europe. However, these have also affected in a greater scale the producers who export, due to their, sometimes, lack of ability to meet the demands. This is the case of Latin America, where the methods of production are not as advanced as they should be for this specific commercial partnership to take place.
For starters, the EU has two main objectives with the implementation of this initiative. First, it is looking to safeguard and protect the environment, the biodiversity, the soils’ fertility, to regulate the water usage, etc. In addition, it also seeks to improve the quality of the food that the citizens are consuming (European Commission, n.d.). To do so, the EU has been strengthening a system of control and enforcement not only on the places dedicated for the food production, but also to all components of the food chain, including the distribution and retail sectors. This due to the fact that for the European Union (n.d.), organic farming means “a sustainable agricultural system respecting the environment and animal welfare, but also includes all other stages of the food supply chain”.
These procedures are done to all products, which make up the food and drink industries. This means that it is also done to the imported commodities, from their production until their shipment. The process is made by “control bodies or authorities” appointed by the Commission with the objective of ensuring the organic standards that Europe is seeking. The issue does not rely on the procedure of the certification, but the standards and measures the Commission is looking for. For a product to receive a bio/organic certification, the farming practices must include crop rotation, no usage of chemical pesticides, nor synthetic fertilizers, a “ban of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the raise of livestock in in a free-range, open-air environment and the use of organic fodder”, among others (European Parliament, 2021).
It is important to state that not all products have to follow these requirements, but it is relevant to have in mind the fact that the European food and drink industries are shifting in that direction. That is why many of the now exporting enterprises, as well as the companies who are interested in taking their commodities to the European market, must take into consideration this new path of consumption and requirements at the time of proceeding with their commercial ties.
Broggini, as a consultant firm specialized in internationalization processes, provides a complete portfolio of services where the clients can be sure that professional advice is going to be given, considering all the new challenges that the Latin American producers are facing. Broggini knows how both markets work and can provide the best solutions and pathways.