Continued growth in non-GM milk, poultry in Germany

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/Aquir
© istock/Aquir
The turnover of food products within the dairy, poultry and egg categories certified against a government backed non-GM food label in Germany is forecast to reach €4.4bn in 2017.

The German Association of Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG), which runs the country’s non-GMO certification - Ohne GenTechnik (OG) – scheme, said that figure is based on returns to a questionnaire it sent to food processors. 

“This is the first time we have valued the non-GM food sector in Germany,” ​Alexander Hissting, general manager of VLOG, told us.

Currently over 6,000 food products are labeled OG in that market. Dairy products account for 26% of those, and it is a segment that is predicted to grab 55% of the forecast €4.4bn turnover, he said.

Last year alone saw a 71% increase in the number of food products labelled non-GM in Germany. 

“While dairy is the fastest growing segment for non-GMO feed in Germany, licensed poultry meat products grew from 500 to 1,360 in 2016 – a jump of 270% in one year," ​he said.

Meanwhile the number of companies with VLOG accreditation​ also increased by 40% over the course of 2016 – this includes domestic as well as international producers, he said. 

Over 120 companies in the feed industry (manufacturers and traders) are certified against the standard.

“Bunge Deutschland GmbH has just became a member of VLOG,”​ added Hissting. 

VLOG DATA SHOWING BREAKDOWN OF OG LABELLING IN MILCHPRODUKTE (DAIRY), GEFLUGELFLEISCH (POULTRY), EIER (EGGS) AND SONSTIGES (OTHERS) IN GERMANY AND FORECAST TURNOVER PER SEGMENT 

VLOG product and sales data Germany

Agrifirm to offer Non-GM dairy feeds

As of next month, Dutch feed manufacturer, Agrifirm, said it will be offering VLOG certified feeds to dairy producers in the Netherlands supplying milk to Dutch agri cooperatives that are looking to tap into the lucrative non-GM dairy sector in Germany.

It has a few years’ experience of providing such feeds to the Dutch broiler and layer sector exporting to Germany.

Depending on volumes, Agrifirm outsources such production or produces the non-GM feed itself, Peter Boudeling, procurement director, Agrifirm Feed, told us.

The company uses non-GM soy from Brazil or South Eastern Europe, subject to the time of the year, he said.

He doesn’t see the same consumer or retailer pressure in the Netherlands to drive a non-GM market domestically though. “The Dutch market is more about sustainability and welfare.”

VLOG, which allows licensees the use of the OG seal on manufactured food products that meet the standard, says if operators in the feed sector want to comply with the OG labelling criteria, they must aim for no GM content. 

og vlog seal

If they have done so with adequate and documented measures there is tolerance for adventitious or technically unavoidable traces of up to 0,9% per ingredient (1829/2003), said VLOG.

GM traces of up to 0,1% are always considered as adventitious or technically unavoidable, it added.

This means they can show, at most, traces of up to 0.1% GM raw materials.

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