Coronavirus pandemic sharpens appetite for organic food

Eating at home is the new normal now for most of us around the world. Kids don’t go to school, so there are no school meals. Adults can’t eat out because restaurants and cafés are closed.
That has most people headed back into the kitchen to do their own cooking. A trend that shows an interesting side effect: Organic and regional produce has become even more popular.
Some just want to support local farmers and vendors. But the main reason for a rise in organic food seems to be that most of us believe healthy food will keep us healthy, too.
And during a pandemic that’s a pretty good incentive!
It’s unusually quiet, in the farm shop here in Brodowin, Brandenburg. Due to the pandemic, only three customers have been in this morning.
The café’s closed. No weddings or events allowed… the International Green Week that happens in Berlin every January is cancelled, so no catering contract. The store and catering service turnover is down by 75 percent.
But Katja von Maltzan and her husband didn’t have to put any of their employees on reduced hours – they even hired 20 new people.
Because their organic produce delivery service is booming.
They have 180 cows and produce milk and cheese in the farm dairy. The Eco Village Brodowin also runs a kitchen in the nearby town of Eberswalde, which produces items such as chicken stock, pickled beet and potato soup.
The organic farm’s turnover has risen 50 percent during the pandemic.
At the moment he and his team are delivering organic produce to some 3,600 customers a week in Brandenburg, Berlin and also to supermarket chains.
That’s a third more than before the pandemic. Germany has seen a 20 percent rise in sales of organic goods during the pandemic. Many consumers are keen to support local businesses.
Ludolf von Maltzahn is already thinking ahead. He wants to build loyalty that will outlive the pandemic.