The world’s largest congress for the organic community will be held alongside the combined BIOFACH and VIVANESS trade fair from 13–16 February 2024. The BIOFACH congress programme once again reflects the burning issues affecting the organic sector: As well as the main theme “Food for the Future: Women’s Impact on Sustainable Food Systems”, the congress will also put the spotlight on highly topical issues like policy frameworks, the future of the organic retail segment, and the use of organic food in the out-of-home catering sector. The VIVANESS congress programme will also offer interesting insights into current research findings and industry developments.

Spotlight on the transformative power of women in the food system
• Organic food in out-of-home catering: new HoReCa – GV & Gastro forum
• Leading-edge topics from the natural and organic personal care sector

In 2024, the BIOFACH Congress offers visitors plenty of scope for inspiring knowledge-sharing and exciting discussions in no less than eight forums. This year’s congress theme “Food for the Future: Women’s Impact on Sustainable Food Systems” is broadly spread across all forums and explores the transformative power of women for a more sustainable future for the food system worldwide. One highlight is the session “Women in sustainable food systems – how can agroecology contribute to gender equality?”. The talk, which is part of the BIOFACH Forum, addresses the question of how agroecology can help shape a food system in which all stakeholders are truly equal. In addition, the session “Gender Respect Gap in Scientific Communication” in the Science Forum provides insights into the research environment. As part of a moderated discussion, renowned female scientists conducting research in Germany on the ecological transformation of agriculture and the food system share their experiences of the reservations women have to contend with in the scientific arena and discuss what needs to change in the future.
Two forums for communal and out-of-home catering BIOFACH recognises the potential of the government’s strategy of incorporating more organic food into out-of-home catering and will be covering this increasingly important market more extensively than ever this year. With its new HoReCa – GV & Gastro forum in Hall 3A, the trade fair is presenting a target group-specific congress programme, creating a space for knowledge and information transfer and discussions between providers and users. The programme focuses on market developments in Germany and the rest of Europe, Germany’s new Organic Out-of-Home Catering Regulation (Bio-AHVV), the nutritional transformation of the kitchen, and regional value-added chains.

The STADTLANDBIO forum will also cover the important issue of organic food in the communal catering segment.

Integrated into the BIOFACH Congress as a forum for the first time this year, STADTLANDBIO offers workshops and presentations to its longstanding target group of community establishments. The forum will explore ways in which towns and communities can promote high-quality yet cost-effective organic dining options in community catering establishments while supporting regional producers. The topics covered will include the status of public procurement law and strategies for making diners more enthusiastic about organic food choices.

Organic food shops and independent retailers as the backbone of the organic sector

The year 2023 ended on a positive note for organic speciality retailers: As reported by the BNN (German Association of Organic Processors, Wholesalers and Retailers) at the start of December 2023, sales growth in the organic retail segment has been consistently positive again since June 2023. The sessions in the Fachhandel Forum (in German) will explore future challenges for organic retailers and concepts for dealing with them. The agenda includes topics like market developments, new communication and marketing tools, and the recruiting of new staff. Because one thing is sure: the German government’s target of 30% organic farming by 2030 can only be achieved through a strong organic retail sector with its regional supply chains and SMEs.

The session “Female power in food retail: Are women the drivers of sustainability and organic food?” will explore the status quo and future opportunities in the organic and independent retail segments. The focus will be on the correlation between female management and the increase in organic food and sustainable practices in the markets.


At the international VIVANESS Congress, leading-edge issues affecting the natural and organic cosmetic and personal care sector will be discussed and then explored in more depth in two accompanying interactive workshops on each day of the event. The programme covers the current overall performance of the market and other topics relevant to the future of the sector. One highlight is the scientific presentation “Mood-boosting natural fragrances: the emotional effects of fragrances in cosmetic products”, which explains the extent to which certain scents can have a positive effect on emotional well-being. The panel on the topic “What opportunities for successful brand management are offered by Meta and other digital platforms in an era of community building and the creator economy?” will discuss the use of digital media for successful brand management.

The BIOFACH and VIVANESS Congress will run parallel to the trade fair in Nuremberg from 13-16 February 2024. Many of the sessions will also be available online. On all four days (Tuesday to Friday) of the event, industry stakeholders will explore highly topical issues and future developments in the eight forums at the BIOFACH Congress – BIOFACH, Sustainability, Politics, Science, Agriculture, Fachhandel, STADTLANDBIO and HoReCa – and at the VIVANESS Congress.