World Market of Organic Food Products

World Market of Organic Food Products

Inga Ryumkina (Irkutsk State Agrarian University, Russia) and Sergey Ryumkin (Novosibirsk State Agrarian University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1042-1.ch004

Abstract

In the past two decades, the role of international relations in various spheres has increased significantly. The world market for agricultural products is not an exception. Agricultural production is influenced by many factors, including climate, development strategies, and financing of agricultural research centers, among others. The factor of organic production should form both domestic and global markets of agricultural products and food since the health of people and the environment depends on the quality of food products. Therefore, the agrarian policy should primarily focus on the development of markets of organic food. In this chapter, the authors attempt to identify major actors in the world market of organic food products.
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Introduction

The aim of this study is an analysis of current state of world food market, including healthy food and organic products. The tasks of the study:

  • Review the existing literature in the sphere of organic agriculture

  • Clarify the terminology and offer authors’ definitions

  • Assess current state of agricultural production in Russia

  • Make an overview of global agricultural market

  • Study the factors of development of global and domestic markets of organic products

  • Offer recommendations and solutions on the topic

Methodology of research: review of academic literature, collection and processing of data, analysis of information, and comparison and evaluation of data.

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Background

The concept of organic agriculture existed before the invention of synthetic agrochemicals. It began taking shape in the beginning of the 1900s. The concept of organic agriculture was first introduced by Paull (2014). The era of organic farming in Europe and America started in the 1940s as a response to the dependence of agricultural production on application of insecticides and synthetic fertilizers. During the 20th century, new farming methods based on agrochemical preparations have been actively used and led to the increase in yields. The other side of this development is soil erosion, soil contamination with heavy metals, and salinization of water objects.

Albert Howard, a British botanist, is considered as one of the founders of organic agriculture. His Agricultural Testament published in 1943 had a great impact on many scientists and farmers. Howard (n.d.) described the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on health of animals and plants, proposed a system of soil fertilizers based on the use of compost from plant residues and manure, and explained the essence of organic agriculture as a maintenance of fertility of soil which is the first condition of any permanent system of agriculture. In 1939, Balfour (n.d.), influenced by the works of Howard, conducted the world’s first scientific experiment on agricultural land in the UK to compare conventional and organic agriculture. After four years, her book “The Living Soil” was published, became widespread, and led to the establishment of Soil Association, one of the most famous organizations in organic agriculture today. An important contribution to the development of organic agriculture was made by Steiner who wrote the first comprehensive work on organic agriculture and advocated the development of biodynamic agriculture, a type of organic agriculture that included all the principles and standards of organic agriculture, but also affected the cosmic rhythms and spiritual aspects (Paull, 2011). The term “organic agriculture” was popularized by Rodale. In 1942, he founded Organic Farming and Gardening journal. In 1950, he also founded Prevention journal which set out the philosophy of organic agriculture (Kurochkin & Smolnyakova, 2012).

In Japan, organic agriculture began to develop about 100 years ago. An important contribution to its development was made by the Japanese philosopher Mokichi Okada. He paid special attention to the so-called “natural farming”, the principles of which were largely consistent with modern organic agriculture (Howling Pixel, n.d.). Another founder of organic agriculture is Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer. Fukuoka practiced new methods of farming which he called “non-arable, without fertilizers, without weeding, without pesticides, the method of doing nothing in subsistence agriculture”. He developed the principles of natural farming which involved minimizing human intervention in farming (One-Straw Revolution. n.d.).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Breakthrough Development: An innovative approach combined with rational management decisions.

Nature-Likeness Technologies: Nature-saving and specialized technologies that allow to preserve biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment, to promote the development of biological objects, to maintain and supplement the necessary conditions for their keeping, as well as to foresee and eliminate negative impacts of various kinds.

Innovative Approach: The technologies, or means of production, which will allow to make a big leap forward, thereby reducing the gap between Russia and the leading countries in the production of competitive agricultural raw materials and food.

Rational Management Decisions: The decision-making process of correct use of factors of production (labor, land, capital, information and entrepreneurial ability) for the production of goods and services.

Environmental Sustainability: A state of stable self-regulation of nature and the environment, the process of waste disposal without harm to ecosystems and the absence of negative physical and chemical effects on biological objects. In other words, society, as little as possible should affect the nature, to apply a negative kind of strikes and attacks against the environment, as well as to take all possible measures to protect and defend it.

World Food Market: An open position of economic entities (countries participating in the world market of agricultural raw materials and food) for mutual cooperation and on voluntary principles for the transaction (buying and selling) the purpose of which is to benefit from these transactions.

Organic Products: Agricultural products made from plants or animals using environmentally sound technology, nature-likeness technologies without the use of pesticides and other plant protection products, chemical fertilizers, growth promoters and animal fattening, antibiotics, hormonal and veterinary drugs, GMOs, as well as based on the principles of environmental sustainability and quality production for human life and health.

Smart Agriculture: An idea of applying high technologies, using all kinds of innovative solutions and the Internet of things in the agro-industrial complex to promote and simplify the processes of management, control, regulation of production with the least losses and obtaining the maximum result, both in physical terms, in the form of safe food, and in financial indicators.

Proper Nutrition: A balanced diet of safe, functionally-directed, high-quality products that allow the human body to grow, develop and stay healthy.

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