Final report

Duration of project

September 2010 to February 2013

Project partner

Land und Markt
Dr. Heike Kuhnert
Heckscherstraße 28
20253 Hamburg

Project coordination

Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut (vTI)
Institute of farm economics
Dr. Hiltrud Nieberg
Bundesallee 50
38116 Braunschweig

Contact persons at the University of Kassel

„Extension of organic farming in Germany: Determination of reasons for re-conversion of organic farms to conventional agriculture and development of a sustainable approach to prevent it”

Research project within the framework of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme and other forms of sustainable agriculture (BÖLN)


Although the absolute number of organic farms has increased steadily over the last years, there have been several organic farms that re-converted to conventional agriculture since the middle of the 1990s.

This project aims at understanding the relevance of the “phenomenon re-conversion” in Germany. Subjective reasons of farmers who returned to conventional cultivation will be determined and contrasted with objective data regarding the external environment of re-conversion.
Based on these data, measurements how to reduce the number of re-conversions will be developed in collaboration with relevant players (e.g. from consulting services, agricultural administration, trade and processing companies, organic associations).

The main tasks of our department are the determination of the regional distribution of re-conversions, the analysis of a nationwide written survey with farmers who re-converted and the analysis of objective framework data surrounding re-conversions.