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New sustainable sector resonates with ‘lost organic consumers’

By Kacey Culliney , 20-Apr-2012
Last updated the 20-Apr-2012 at 13:51 GMT

In light of current economic difficulties organic consumers are looking elsewhere for foods, and sustainable products resonate with their core values, according to the MD of Cert ID.

UK-based Cert ID is the firm behind the Pro Terra standard – representative of environmentally sustainable, socially responsible and non-GM soy.

Richard Werran, managing director of the certification company, has pegged ‘sustainable’ as a “whole new sector opening up” that will be driven and underpinned predominantly by efforts from ingredients manufacturers.

“In the current economic environment, those consumers who have stopped buying organic products are looking elsewhere but with the same core values and thoughts towards products,” Werran told FoodNavigator.com.

“A Pro Terra certified product resonates with these lost organic consumers,” he said.

Certified environmentally sustainable, socially responsible products is a whole new segment set to fill the “vacuum in the market” left by the dip in organics.

He added that Pro Terra brings together sustainability and non-GM for soy lecithin which is an important factor.

The buzz word

“Sustainable will be the buzz word for the next 10 years,” Werran said, but something that will become the norm by the end of this time-span.

This market potential will be driven by ingredients manufacturers, he said; “the powerhouse for development isn’t with product manufacturers, it’s coming from the ingredients sector.”

“Those more perceptive ingredients manufacturers will do better,” he added.

Alluding to Thew Abbott’s recent Pro Terra certification contract, he said the company needed to be applauded as they have reacted to the market demands for sustainability.

“It is an interesting company; they are very forward looking,” he said, “others will have to follow suit on this especially with soy lecithin being the world’s widest used emulsifier.”

The Mercedes market…

Werran pointed to demand for sustainable soy lecithin predominantly coming from the “Mercedes end of the market because it matters to them most.”

High-end brands and luxury chocolatiers is where the trend for using certified sustainable and non-GMO soy lecithin will go first he said; “the Swiss chocolatiers in particular – this is the clear market direction,” as they already work with Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance sugar and cocoa ingredients, so next in line is certified sustainable soy lecithin.

Big brands and retailers are driving ‘sustainability’, he said, and “they are doing it for very clear reasons as these issues matter to the consumer.”

“If the food industry doesn’t move in this clear direction, these sustainability goals can’t be achieved,” he added, and “if they don’t adapt they will go out of business. They will just have redundant products that won’t fit market requirements.”

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