Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool


Melkbecher (c) Landesvereinigung der Milchwirtschaft Niedersachsen e.V.
(© Landesvereinigung der Milchwirtschaft Niedersachsen e.V.)

The QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool is used to collect data on the sustainability of milk production throughout Germany. More than 30 dairies are participating.

Background and Objective

Sustainable and responsible management is gaining increasingly importance in the production, processing and marketing of food, at national and international level as well. This also applies to the German dairy industry and its international competitiveness. Against this background, the Thünen Institute of Farm Economics together with QM-Milch e.V. and the project office Land und Markt developed the "Sustainability Dairy Tool". It was used and tested in practice for the first time from 2017 to 2020. Based on the experience and knowledge gained in the pilot phase the tool was further developed and is now called “QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool”.

The aim of the joint project with QM Milch e.V. is to further implement the QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool in practice. It is intended to support dairies and milk producer associations and their dairy farms in the sustainable development of milk production and to initiate a dialogue on the relevant topics and processes towards more sustainable milk production. It is intended to provide facts in order to be able to inform market partners and society "where the dairy farmers stand in terms of sustainability" and how the sustainability status is developing.


1) Application of the QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool in more than 30 dairies

2) Analysing the data; preparation of dairy reports and benchmarking reports for milk producers

3) Preparation of a nationwide report on the sustainability of dairy farms in Germany

4) In-depth statistical analyses on specific issues

5) Ensuring the scientific foundation

6) Securing the multi-stakeholder process

7) Ensuring international connectivity

Data and Methods

The data is collected by means of a written (online-based) questionnaire. The evaluation of the data for the dairy processors is mainly descriptive. Multivariate statistical methods are also used for the in-depth scientific analyses. We also apply qualitative methods (group discussions, expert discussions) as part of the evaluation and stakeholder analysis.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • QM-Milch e.V.
    (Berlin, Deutschland)
  • Landeskontrollverband Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V. (LKV NRW)
    (Krefeld, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • participating dairies
    (national, privat)


7.2020 - 6.2023

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 10 of 23

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  1. Gentz M, Johns J, Danne M, Lindena T, Lassen B (2021) 34 Ergebnisberichte zu Erzeugerbefragungen der im Projekt teilnehmenden Molkereien [Nicht veröffentlicht].
  2. Gentz M, Johns J, Danne M, Lindena T, Lassen B (2021) QM-Nachhaltigkeitsmodul Milch: Zwischenauswertung der Ergebnisse der Erzeugerbefragung der teilnehmenden Molkereien [Nicht veröffentlicht].
  3. Lindena T, Claus A-S, Johns J, Nieberg H (2020) "QM-Nachhaltigkeitsmodul Milch" - es geht weiter! Ausgewählte Ergebnisse nach 3 Jahren Pilotphase [online]. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Betriebswirtschaft, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 09.11.2020]
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 5556 kb
  4. Kuhnert H, Lindena T (2020) Alles gleich "grün"? Elite(4):24-26
  5. Lindena T, Johns J (2020) Animal Welfare on 7,297 German Dairy Farms: Results of the pilot study of the "QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool" [online]. IDF Anim Health Rep(14):6-8, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 05.11.2020]
  6. Lindena T, Johns J (2020) Auf Tierwohl für Milchvieh achten. Bauernzeitg 61(38):40-42
  7. Claus A-S, Lindena T, Heuer J (2020) Pilotprojekt "Nachhaltigkeitsmodul Milch" : 7 Ergebnisberichte zu Erzeugerbefragungen der im Projekt teilnehmenden Molkereien [Nicht veröffentlicht]. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Betriebswirtschaft
  8. Lindena T, Claus A-S, Johns J, Heuer J (2020) Pilotprojekt "Nachhaltigkeitsmodul Milch" : Ergebnisse der Erzeugerbefragungen aller teilnehmenden Molkereien - Gesamtauswertung [Nicht veröffentlicht]. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Betriebswirtschaft
  9. Lindena T, Johns J (2020) QM-Nachhaltigkeitsmodul Milch: Start in Phase 2. Top Agrar 49(9):R6-R8
  10. Lindena T, Johns J (2020) Wir müssen uns nicht verstecken. DLG Mitt(8):58-60

Results 1 - 10 of 23

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