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Ökologischer Betrieb
© BLE, Bonn/Thomas Stephan
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics


Environmental and animal protection - too expensive for producers?

Manure and related nutrient loads are an important issue in the environmental debate
© Thünen-Institut/Claus Deblitz
Manure and related nutrient loads are an important issue in the environmental debate

Assessing farmers' costs of compliance with EU legislation in the fields of environment, animal welfare and food safety

To which extent are EU and non-EU producers affected by legal regulations and how does this impact on their competitiveness?

Background and Objective

Legislation on environment, food safety and animal welfare are often quoted as cost drivers for agricultural production, thus reducing international competitiveness. The project aims to assess the additional costs (and possible benefits) of these regulations in selected EU-member states and relevant non-EU competitors for several product branches. Products covered are cereals, beef, sheep, fruits, wine (Thünen Institute, agri benchmark), milk (International Farm Comparison Network) as well as pig and poultry.


Thünen Institute is coordinating a total of 27 case studies comprising a) the product-specific legislation in the participating countries (regulations, directives, national implementation, GAECs plus legislation not targeted to agriculture but affecting it), b) the identification and quantification of the cost items affected and c) conclusions and implications of the findings on competitiveness and (agricultural) policy design.

Data and Methods

The reference point is the legislation valid in the year 2010. The compilation of the relevant legislation is based on the legal texts from the EU and national sources. The data base of the farm-level calculations is typical farms from the agri benchmark Network which are existing or established for the project. Focus groups consisting of producers and advisors are asked by the research partners how their management practices would look like without the existence of the legislation (without-situation). The focus groups quantify this situation in terms of quantities, costs and possible returns and the research partners calculate and compare the without and the status quo (with situation).


The full report is here available.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • centro ricerche produzioni animali (CRPA)
    (Reggio Emilia, Italien)
  • Charles Sturt University
    (Orange, Australien)
  • University of Adelaide
    (Adelaide, Australien)
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires
    (Buenos Aires, Argentinien)
  • University Sao Paulo (CEPEA)
    (Sao Paulo, Brasilien)
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)
    (Stoneleigh, Großbritannien (inkl. Nordirland))
  • Centro Ricerche Produzioni Vegetali
    (Cesena, Italien)
  • Fundación para el Desarrollo Fruticola
    (Santiago, Chile)
  • Hortgro
    (Paarl, Südafrika)
  • Institut d’Élevage (IDELE)
    (Paris, Limoges, Mignaloux-Beauvoir, Frankreich)
  • Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee
    (Bavendorf, Deutschland)
  • Obstbauzentrum Jork
    (Jork, Deutschland)
  • Patriotisk Selskab
    (Odense, Dänemark)
  • PGG Wrightson Consulting
    (Dannevirke, Neuseeland)
  • Saborá, Estrategias Agroalimentarias
    (Madrid, Spanien)
  • Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement (INRAE)
    (Paris, Toulouse, Montpellier, Avignon, Ivry-sur-Seine, Clermont-Ferrand, Rennes, Thiverval-Grignon, Dijon, Orleans, Bordeaux, Pierroton, Frankreich)
  • University of Cambridge
    (Cambridge, Großbritannien (inkl. Nordirland))
  • University of Stellenbosch
    (Stellenbosch, Südafrika)
  • Vinpro
    (Paarl, Südafrika)


12.2011 - 9.2014

More Information

Project status: finished

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Menghi A, Roest K de, Porcelluzzi A, Deblitz C, Davier Z von, Wildegger B, Witte T de, Strohm K, Garming H, Dirksmeyer W, Zimmer Y, Bölling D, van Huylenbroek G, Mettepenningen E (2015) Assessing farmers' cost of compliance with EU legislation in the fields of environment, animal welfare and food safety. Bruxelles: European Commission

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