Every year in February, the biggest organic consumer goods fair in the world, called “Biofach Messe and Vivaness“, in Nuremburg, Germany, draws members of the organic business community from all over the world, who flock to the fair to make and break deals, cultivate old relationships, form new ones, look for products, attend lectures, and explore the organic scene. Originally started in 1990, it is now chaired by the IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. Conventional producers are not admitted to the show: even the various cafeteria, restaurants and food stalls carry only certified organic products.
Below a selection of memorable 2013 fair moments:
This is what jet-lag can do to those who come from far away times zones: at 4 pm sharp you will fall sound asleep, no matter what, no matter where. It’s better to plan for arrival in Europe a few days earlier, to allow for long distance, time travel adjustments. After all, you don’t want to end your business meetings looking like this. Besides, there is so much excitement to miss:
Cheese! A considerable amount of fair real estate is dedicated to organic producers who make heavenly delicious cheese, mostly from Europe. Some introduced interesting novelty cheeses, such as Elderberry cheese. Lectures and tastings were held through all fair days.
Organic meat producers were well represented at this fair. Here a display of cured Italian goods.
Delicious, healthy German bread (Bio, of course), to go with organic cheese and meats.
Organic wine producers from all main wine growing regions exhibit at Biofach, where you can taste and choose what you would like to offer to customers in your wine store, bar or restaurant.
You can either start, or end a meal with these delicious fruit brandies. They also go well with many deserts. This year a good amount of spirit producers were exhibiting promising creations.
Looking for a tasty, non alcoholic, energizing beverage? Just follow the beautiful lady. Bionade is a cultured, fermented, Kombucha type drink, offered in various fruit and herb flavors, such as Elderberry, Quince and Ginger. Readily available in most German grocery stores and gastronomy.
There is always some live music to catch at Biofach. These handsome men, dressed in proper folk costumes, were performing traditional music from the Czech Republic.
Where there is music, there is dance. Here a performance in traditional costume by a lovely Indonesian fan dancer, wearing Chrysanthemum flowers in her hair.
Planters filled with flowering medicinal and food plants are a welcome sight in the dead of winter in Germany. Sunflowers, Chamomile, Feverfew, Malva, Aconitum, Nicotiana, Cornflower, Maize, and a huge, white Apiaceae and a yellow Brassica family member invite you to stop and smell the herbs.
Do you prefer to smell flowers in a bottle? There is an entire hall dedicated to cosmetic and essential oil producers, called ‘Vivaness’. New products are artfully displayed in a museum-style cabinet. Family business Alteya Organics features products based on their main crops: highly aromatic Roses, and Lavender, from Bulgaria. Pictured is a new line of floral waters (hydrosols), made from Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), pink Rosa damascena, and white Rosa alba.
Be sure to bag a bottle of this Rosé wine. If you had a difficult day, and can’t remember what’s good about life, take a look at the label, and pour yourself a chilled glass. À la vôtre santé, mes amis!
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