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Ökologischer Betrieb
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics


Analyses of the economic situation of organic farming

Is organic farming profitable for farms? Information from the Farm Accountancy Data Network provides an answer.
© BLE, Bonn/Thomas Stephan
Is organic farming profitable for farms? Information from the Farm Accountancy Data Network provides an answer.

Analysis of the economic situation of organic farming

The organic area shall further grow in view the German government. This requires that the organic management is profitable. Book-keeping records of the Farm Accountancy Network provide relevant information, if this was the case in the last years.

Background and Objective

The economic performance of organic farming has a major influence on the development of the organic sector. The income development in organic farms is therefore analysed every year on the basis of bookkeeping results from the German Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN, data from representatively selected farms in Germany).

In order to be able to assess the financial situation of organic farming in Germany, the income of organically managed FADN farms is compared to the income of comparable conventional farms. Since the regional distribution and the farm structures of organic farms differ significantly, it does not make sense to compare the average organic farms with the average of all conventional farms. That is why every organic farm is only comparable to conventional farms with similar locational conditions (for example same region and farm type, similar soil conditions) and equipment (for example similar amount of land, similar milk quotas). The selected conventional individual farms are aggregated into one group for comparison so that for each organic farm a conventional comparison group is available.

Preliminary Results

In the economic year 2019/20 organic FADN farms achieved a profit plus labour costs per average working unit (AWU) of on average of € 37 444. Comparable conventional farms yield an average profit plus labour cost per AWU of € 28.139. The average income of organic farms thus exceeded the income of conventional comparable farms by 33% last year. 

For the FY 2019/20 the accountancy results of 485 organic farms and 2 071 comparable conventional farms were used.

Links and Downloads


Permanent task 1.1996

More Information

Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Sanders J (2014) Analyse der wirtschaftlichen Lage ökologisch wirtschaftender Betriebe im Wirtschaftsjahr 2012/13. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 8 p

  2. 1

    Sanders J (2014) Ökologischer Landbau - eine Wachstumsstrategie für landwirtschaftliche Betriebe in Deutschland? HLBS Rep 32(4):136-137

  3. 2

    Sanders J (2013) Wirtschaftlichkeit des ökologischen Landbaus: Einkommen bleiben stabil. In: Zahlen, Daten, Fakten : die Bio-Branche 2013. Berlin: Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft

  4. 3

    Sanders J (2012) Ökolandbau ist für Landwirte attraktiv. Forschungsrep Spezial Ökol Landbau 2012:10-11

  5. 4

    Sanders J, Offermann F, Nieberg H (2012) Wirtschaftlichkeit des ökologischen Landbaus in Deutschland unter veränderten agrarpolitischen Rahmenbedingungen. Braunschweig: vTI, 120 p, Landbauforsch SH 364

  6. 5

    Nieberg H, Sanders J, Offermann F (2010) Biobauern sehen optimistisch in die Zukunft : Umfrage unter Ökolandwirten. Bauernzeitg (Brandenburg):40-42

  7. 6

    Sanders J, Nieberg H, Offermann F (2010) Einkommensentwicklung konventioneller und ökologischer Betriebe. Agra Europe (Bonn) 51(8):S1-3

  8. 7

    Sanders J, Nieberg H, Offermann F (2010) Is organic farming still financially attractive in Switzerland? : Paper prepared for the SGA-Jahrestagung, Tänikon, 25.3.2010-26.3.2010. Tänikon: SGA, 2 p

  9. 8

    Sanders J, Nieberg H, Offermann F (2010) Ökolandbau lohnt sich. B&B Agrar 63(2):33-35

  10. 9

    Nieberg H, Sanders J, Offermann F (2010) Umfrage unter Ökolandwirten : Biobauern sehen optimistisch in die Zukunft. In: Blicke in die Zukunft : Visionen für die Landwirtschaft von übermorgen. Berlin: Deutscher Bauernverl, pp 40-42

  11. 10

    Offermann F, Nieberg H (2000) Economic performance of organic farms in Europe. Stuttgart-Hohenheim: Institut für Landwirtschaftliche Betriebslehre, XVIII, 198 p, Organic Farming Europe 5

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