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

BW Farm Economics


Remuneration for the environmental benefits of organic farming

Mountain water springs from the wooden channel of the rocky stream.
© Creative Nature -
By dispensing with chemical-synthetic pesticides, organic farming has a high potential for protecting groundwater and surface water.

Development of a concept for the coherent and differentiated remuneration of the environmental benefits of organic farming  

Lower nitrogen burdens in water courses, reduced resource use, more biodiversity in farmed landscapes – organic farming delivers many benefits for society. But organic farms are not rewarded appropriately for their services. What needs to change?

Background and Objective

Organic farming stands for a holistic concept of land use, with the aim particularly to recognise and respect natural constraints. For the environmental benefits they deliver, organic farms currently receive a land area-based payment. The level of this environmental payment has so far been calculated on the basis of regional averages for increased costs and reduced output of organic farms compared with conventional farms.

This approach has two disadvantages. Firstly, the support payments bear no relationship to the value of the environmental benefits delivered. And secondly, the support payments to not provide any financial incentive to adopt farming practices that go beyond the minimum requirements of organic regulations. The Thünen Institut and partner organisations have therefore, in the context of a research project, set the goal of developing a differentiated and coherent approach to the remuneration of the environmental benefits of organic farming.

To make the subsequent implementation of the remuneration concept easier, the expectations and experiences of agricultural practitioners and policy administrators will be considered from the outset. In addition, the concept development will ensure that the remuneration approach could be applicable to all farmers at a later date.

Preliminary Results

In this project, the Thünen Institute will show, with respect to the 30% land area goal of the Federal Government, how organic farming can be strengthened effectively and the public benefits of agriculture remunerated appropriately.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖLN)
    (national, öffentlich)


5.2020 - 5.2023

More Information

Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Grunewald K, Meier S, Bastian O, Syrbe RU, Walz U, Schweppe-Kraft B, Lampkin N, Elsasser P, Altenbrunn K, Köthke M, Lorenz M, Meyerhoff J, Haase D, Gerhard P, Kochan B, Neumann I, Richter B, Schäfer A, Schwarz S, Ohnesorge B, et al (2023) Bewertung von Ökosystemen und deren Leistungen in Deutschland. In: Grunewald K, Bastian O (eds) Ökosystemleistungen : Konzept, Methoden, Bewertungs- und Steuerungsansätze. 2. Auflage. Berlin: Springer Spektrum, pp 251-478, DOI:10.1007/978-3-662-65916-8_5

  2. 1

    Sanders J, Lampkin N (2020) Umweltleistungen angemessen honorieren. BioTOPP(4):6-8

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