Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

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

Structural change and competitiveness of the German horticultural sector


Gemüseanbaufläche 2012 in Hektar (c) Thünen-Institut
(© Thünen-Institut)

Analysis of the structure and competitiveness of the German horticultural sector

The structures of horticultural production in Germany are changing. Fewer farms cultivate, on average, more acreage and partially with very specialized crops. The intensity is influenced by different framework conditions such as legal and economic constraints as well as potentials.

Background and Objective

To date, systematically prepared and regularly updated information which would enable the analysis of status quo and development potentials of the German horticultural sector is lacking. Our aim is to analyse the structure and the competitiveness of horticultural production activities in Germany. We compare the competitiveness among German production regions and with main international competitors.


We regularly evaluate available statistics to show changes in the structure of horticultural production. In addition, we analyse how changes, e.g., of the legal framework, impact the sector. The establishment of an international scientific network to analyse horticultural production systems (agri benchmark Horticulture) helps to identify the competitive environment, as well as strengths, weaknesses, potentials and risks of the German horticultural sector.

Data and Methods

We interpret official data such as the agricultural census and specific production statistics. Furthermore, in the research network agri benchmark Horticulture, we establish typical horticultural farms to analyse horticultural production systems at the national and international level.

Preliminary Results

First, we conducted different studies to create a data basis on:
1. Profitability and productivity of horticulture in Germany,
2. Analysis of the German horticulture sector and of international trade with horticultural products,
3. Structure of the German horticultural sector,
4. governmental influences on horticulture in Germany,
5. Development of the demand for horticultural products and services.
The results of these studies were integrated into the BMEL Future Congress on Horticulture in the years 2009 and 2013.
The first steps for the establishment of agri benchmark Horticulture were taken in 2011. In the framework of an EU funded project, we could establish typical farms for the apple and wine grape production in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Chile and South Africa. First results analysing the production systems and costs show that apple production in Chile is highly profitable in contrast to the other countries in the sample. Regarding wine, in many countries total costs of wine grape production are not covered. Further, in both crops, revenues alternate intensively in the different production regions between years. The reasons for this are perceptible fluctuations in yield and price levels.


Involved Thünen-Partners


Permanent task 1.2008 - 12.2025

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

Results 11 - 15 of 40

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  1. Klockgether K (2016) Länderporträt Gemüseproduktion Teil 1 - Einführung : Gemüsebau in Deutschland - eine Analyse. Gemüse 52(7):46-47
  2. Klockgether K (2016) Länderporträt Gemüseproduktion Teil 2 - Pfalz und Hessen : Effiziente Strukturen sichern eine tragfähige Zukunft. Gemüse 52(8):52-53
  3. Klockgether K (2016) Länderporträt Gemüseproduktion Teil 3 - Nordrhein-Westfalen : Gemüsebau nahe des größten Ballungsgebiets Deutschlands. Gemüse 52(9):50-51
  4. Klockgether K (2016) Länderporträt Gemüseproduktion Teil 4 - Niedersachsen : Niedersachsen – Mehr als Spargel und Salat. Gemüse 52(10):42-43
  5. Klockgether K (2016) Länderporträt Gemüseproduktion Teil 5 - Baden-Württemberg : Auf in den Süden zu Feldsalat, Zuckermais, Kürbis und Co.. Gemüse 52(11):50-51

Results 11 - 15 of 40

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