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Organic Farming in Austria

Vogl, C. R. and Heß, J. (1999) Organic Farming in Austria. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 14 (3), pp. 137-143.

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Summary

During the present decade, Austria has experienced a dramatic increase in organic farming among those countries that comprise the European Union (EU). For example, in 1992, approximately 2,000 farms were practicing organic, ecological, or biodynamic farming methodes. By 1997 the number of certified organic farms plus those in transition from conventional farming had increased 10-fold to some 20,000 farms. This represents almost 9% of the total farms in Austria and an area of 345,375 ha, or 10% of the total cultivated farmland. The largest concentration of organic farms is in regions with a high proportion of alpine grassland or pastures. Approximately 50% of the organic farms range in size from 5 to 15 ha. The strong organic movement in Austria can be attributed to a) government subsidies which provide incentives to organic farmers and b) widepread acceptance of organic products and their brand names by large food chains and supermarkets. More than 60% of organic farmers are affiliated with associations and organizations that provide advisory and support services in marketing activities. Certification of organic farms and food processors is conducted by seven monitoring bodies according to EU regulations No. 2092/91, which guarantees legally-binding standards of food saftey and quality to EU consumers, and according to the Austian Alimentari Codex. Since January 1998, all monitoring/certifying bodies in Austria must verify accreditation according to rgulation European Norm 45011. The major supermarket chain offers a variety of organic dairy and meat products, as well as organic ice cream, pizza, vegetables, fruits, baby foods, and bread. The current domestic wholesale value of organic products arketed from Austria farms is approximately 170 million US$ annually. Unfortunately, funding for support of scientific research and extension to enhance organic farming and marketing has not kept pace with the increasing number of organic farms and farmers. Additional funding is essential to ensure the sustainable development of the organic movement and the organic market.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic certification, organic marketing, European Union, organic subsidies, organic incentives, food safety, food quality, farm advisory service
Subjects:"Organics" in general > Country reports > Austria
Farming Systems
Values, standards and certification
Research affiliation: Austria > Univ. BOKU Wien > Sustainable Agr. Systems - IfÖL
Related Links:http://www.boku.ac.at/oekoland/MitarbeiterInnen/Vogl/Vogl_papers.htm
Deposited By: Vogl, Prof. Dr. Christian Reinhard
ID Code:7059
Deposited On:01 Feb 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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