The Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn, opened Eco Life Scandinavia (ELS) and the Nordic Organic Food Fair (NOFF) with the message that ‘together we can, and will, drive forward the organic way of producing sustainable products for the consumers to enjoy’.

Cutting the ribbon alongside Prehn was Carsten Holm, managing director of show organizer Diversified Communications, who commented on the return of the combined events after their COVID hiatus: “It’s been a long time. It’s been a tough couple of years … but it’s great to see everyone again. We really appreciate you making the effort, coming over to Malmö for what promises to be a really important fair at a very, very important time for this sector. Denmark has, as you all know, a worldwide reputation for supporting and developing the organic movement. Denmark continues to set the agenda, followed very closely by its neighbours, Sweden, who are this year’s Country of the Year. It’s great to see Scandinavia doing so well in this very important sector.” Holm personally thanked the Minister for supporting a sector which is ‘committed to making a real difference to people, to the environment and to the future for everyone’.

Prehn (pictured) called it ‘an honour’ to open the ‘critically-timed’ shows and said the strong turnout of visitors and exhibitors shows ‘there is a great interest in organic products’. “I’m especially happy to see both producers and retailers; the development of the organic sector depends on a close cooperation between you, the rest of the private sector and us in the public sector.”

In his keynote speech, Prehn outlined the Danish Government’s ‘visionary goals’ for organic, which include doubling the country’s organic agricultural land and organic consumption by 2030, with investment of €484 million.

Having Danish Minister Rasmus Prehn open the show … indicates not only the importance of promoting organic food and drink, but the importance of face-to-face events for the economy

Speaking about the return of ELS and NOFF, event director Melina Viking said: ‘It was incredible to see the organic and sustainability community in high spirits. After an unprecedented time of uncertainty, finally, we had the green light to put on an unmissable event for our industry.”

“The success of the fair is a testament to the resilience of the people that make it – and having Danish Minister Rasmus Prehn open the show, for the first time, indicates not only the importance of promoting organic food and drink, but the importance of face-to-face events for the economy. Thank you to all our wonderful supporters, partners, visitors, exhibitors and team members who pulled together to make this an unforgettable two days.”

Despite COVID restrictions, 450 exhibiting companies greeted 3,675 attending buyers, including representatives from Lidl, COOP, Holland & Barrett, Ikea, Hemköp, ICA, Life, Netto and Midsona. Visitors to the three theatres were kept informed and entertained with a series of talks and debates by expert speakers from Weleda, Oatly, NATRUE, Coop, Lidl, Organic Denmark, Sproud, Tree of Brands and Natural Products News. ‘Pitch to the Buyer’ returned with Lidl Sweden inviting all six pitching brands for further conversations, while the Natural & Organic Awards Scandinavia were celebrated with accolades across 12 categories.

The next edition of ELS and NOFF will be held at MalmöMässan on 16-17 November 2022.