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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: The Camembert Revolution
Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel on how the organic movement continues to shake up everything from cheese in France to fish farms

By Beatrice E. Rangel

When French cheese connoisseurs railed against pasteurized camembert, they were unknowingly declaring war on industrial food production and becoming the standard bearers of a generation of consumers that already is upsetting the industry.

For cheese lovers, camembert needs to be made from raw milk which creates that creamy pungent flavor that is part of the French identity.

And it so happens that about 45% of consumers worldwide would agree with the French taste guardians.

These are those that represent the Millennial generation and beyond for whom everything we eat should be natural.

This belief accounts for the explosive growth in organic food and the silent and gradual but visible retreat of traditional snacks and beverages.

This taste preference accounts for an extraordinary growth in organic cropland in the United States that went from 0.7 million acres in 2005 to 3.5 million acres. The value of organic products went in the same period from $15B to $40B.

From the production perspective, the drive towards organic food is bound to promote greater access to technology and finance by small and medium sized producers.

The days of struggling to make ends meet from one crop to the other seem to be over.

The entry of smart containers to the logistics market have pushed shipping and logistics companies into financial innovation offering farmers trade finance services that include crop receipt credits, insurance and reduction of the rate of loss for perishable products from 30% to 3%.

Also, as agriculture and animal rearing are impacted by the application of knowledge from diverse sources that include meteorology, molecular biology and environmental sciences, the drive towards natural production techniques will intensify.

This is quite visible in the area of fish farms. The taste difference between fish that thrive in natural environments and those that are reared in farms has led high end food establishments to pay premium prices to find free ranging fishes.

As organic food benefits from higher margins, more investments will flow into the sector to fuel a greater and more substantive expansion. And as the children from the Millennial generation reach adulthood, not only camembert, but all chesses will need to be manufactured from raw milk if they are to meet taste standards.

Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.


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