This page contains automatically translated content.

BLE Research Project "Code of Practice for organic food processing"

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 696231.

Duration of project

April 2020 - October 2021

Project partner

  • Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria (CREA, IT);
  • Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM, IT);
  • Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Trasformazione e Distribuzione di prodotti Biologici e naturali (ASOBIO, IT);
  • University of Copenhagen (KU, DK);
  • Wageningen University &If funded Research (WUR, NL);
  • FH Münster University of Applied Sciences (FH MU, D);
  • Assoziation Ökologischer Lebensmittelhersteller (AÖL, D);
  • Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS, PL);
  • Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL, CH);
  • The French Network of Food Technology Institutes (ACTIA, F);
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, F);
  • Institut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique (ITAB, F)

In Europe, consumption of processed organic food constantly increases. While organic farming is strictly ruled by EU law, organic processing is not. Which processing technologies are in line with organic principles? What do consumers expect from processed organic food?

Background and aim

Processed organic food and ready meals have been showing increasing market shares worldwide for some years now, especially in industrialized countries. The importance of processed organic food is also increasing. At the same time, mandatory standards for the processing of organic food in accordance with the ecological principles of gentle processing, high food quality, low environmental impact and high consumer acceptance are lacking. The "ProOrg" project therefore aims to develop a guideline or Code of Practice (CoP) for organic processors. The CoP aims to support companies that produce organic food as well as organic farming associations by providing concepts and methods to help them make decisions on new, gentle processing technologies. Thereby, ecological principles such as high product quality and low negative environmental impact as well as high levels of consumer acceptance regarding quality and transparency should be achieved.

Consequently, the aim of this study is to investigate consumer knowledge, expectations and attitudes towards selected processing technologies for organic food. The following research questions arise from this:


  • What do consumers know about (organic) food processing?
  • What do consumers expect from organic or gentle processing technologies?
  • Which processing technologies do consumers prefer for organic food?
CrispiesImage: Ronja Hüppe

About the method

As only little research has been done on consumers and processing technologies regarding organic food, focus group discussions (FG) were chosen as a qualitative, explorative method to collect primary data. FGs are carefully planned discussions with several - usually eight to twelve - people, based on a series of guiding questions. For this study, we conducted nine focus group discussions in Germany and Switzerland, with participants who bought organic products at least every two weeks.


  • Hüppe, R.; Zander, K. (2021): Consumer perspectives on processing technologies for organic food. Foods  2021, 10, (6), 1212. .
  • Hüppe and Zander (2020): Ökologische Lebensmittelverarbeitung aus Sicht der Verbraucher – Die Beispiele Milch und Saft. In Austrian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Studies, Austrian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Studies, Vol. 29.16, DOI 10.15203/OEGA_29.16 .