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Jumaat, 1 Mac 2013
Orang Jerman pun TAkut
Germans go organic in
By Richard Carter
BERLIN, Wednesday 12 January 2011 (AFP) - At the
popular Bio Company store in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, the shelves are
virtually bare, as demand for organic meat and eggs spikes amid a dioxin crisis
that has shaken Germans' faith in food.
"Dioxin: Bio products are not affected," screams a notice in
capital letters by the empty meat shelves, the firm differentiating its food
from mass-produced goods at the heart of a scandal that has affected poultry, eggs
Demand at the store has rocketed since the scare broke last week, said
Silke Unwetter, store assistant. "We have been selling at least twice as
much meat and eggs," she said.
"We are having to get in extra deliveries to keep up with
Just around the corner, at the "LPG Biomarket", the empty
shelves tell a similar story.
Customer Redmond Nielsen, a 41-year-old garden designer, said he had
already changed his shopping habits in light of the crisis.
"I've definitely cut back on buying meat. As for eggs, I always
bought free-range before, but now I make sure I buy organic," he said.
At the high point of the crisis last week, authorities banned more than
4,700 farms from selling their goods and destroyed more than 100,000 eggs as a
At the root of the scandal is a firm in the north of the country
suspected of knowingly supplying animal feed manufacturers with fats intended
only for industrial use.
They were then used to make as much as 150,000 tonnes of animal feed used
Tests have found higher than permitted levels of dioxin, which can cause
cancer, in eggs and in three chickens, according to the federal agriculture
And just as hopes were growing that the crisis had eased, with more than
4,000 farms reopened, it emerged on Tuesday the contamination had spread to
pork, one of Germany's favourite dishes.
One Bio Company customer, 55-year-old Jens Ellerbeck, could barely
contain his rage at the industry that had allowed this crisis to occur.
"I always buy organic because I simply don't trust the food
industry. It's a mafia. They are just criminals," he said.
Margit Beck from poultry market research firm MEG confirmed the
anecdotal evidence. "It's certain that people are increasingly reaching
for organic eggs," she told AFP, adding there was a "clear drop"
in overall egg demand.
And as Germans turn away from battery-farmed produce, fears were growing
of a shortage in organic food.
The chairman of the German Federation for Organic Food (BOELW), Felix Prinz
zu Loewenstein, said his members were already reporting shortages.
"The market was not very well supplied before the crisis and the
chickens are not laying any more quickly," he told AFP.
"I have the feeling that there is an increasing scarcity."
The organic market in Germany is by far the biggest in Europe, with
sales of over five billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) in 2008, according to
the latest available BOELW figures.
The next biggest market, Britain, is worth two billion euros.
And eggs are the most popular of "bio" products, according to
the BOELW, citing a survey showing that 63 percent of organic shoppers put eggs
in their baskets, just ahead of fruits and potatoes.
Now with demand for their eggs shooting up, organic producers are
scrambling to keep up supply but finding it difficult, said Beck.
"The amount of organic eggs cannot be increased in the short term.
There is only a certain number of organic chickens and they cannot work
overtime," she said. The Star 13