The Products of Organic Food in Germany

The Products of Organic Food in Germany

The Products of Organic Food in Germany

1. The Overview of Organic Food in Germany

The organic products called Bio products in Germany in the previous time had been much produced and sold in some localities. At first the organic products had been produced in Germany in 1924. However, from the structure of better convenienttransportation, there are many organic products available all over the cities in Germany and there is an importation Bio product from other countries to satisfy the needs for many consumers. The main discipline for producing the Bio products did not use chemical compounds, or unnatural sources in order to get high nutrition and free from the poisonous chemical substances. Moreover, on the process of production it had been realized to the effect may be happen from the environmental surroundings.

During 2006-2009 the organic products became very popular. It could be said that these products became the hottest and had the rate of highest growth. It resulted from consumer’s attentiveness very much realized with their health and there were some contagious diseases from animals such as mad cow disease (the bovine spongiform encephalopathy), avian flu and other diseases affecting from poisonous substances and chemical residues. In 2007 the circulation of the organic products increased at 15% and 10% in 2008 respectively.

However, from the statistical report of BundÖkologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft(BOELW), it concluded that in 2009 the organic products in Germany were steadiness which had circulation in the same way of circulation in 2008. It was 5.7 billion Euros or 285 billion baths because the important marketing channels were retail shops and supermarkets which were discounters for decreasing the organic products in their supermarkets and prices of products to attract the interest from the customers. However, it was not much successful because it could increase only the quantity of products but it could not increase the circulation.

2. The Production

The farmers produced the organic products in Germany can be classified into 2 groups as:

1. Producers under the regulation of Europe Bio (EU-Bio) are 47.5%.

2. Producers under the regulations of Germany (Verbands –Bio) are 52.5 %.

In 2009 there were total farmers in Germany 21,009 members could produce the products of organic food in the areas of 951,557 hectares. Comparing with last year, there was business operation increased 5.9 % or 1,185 members and agricultural areas increased 4.4 % or 40,172 hectares. It was 5.6 % of all farmers and 5.9 of all agricultural areas in Germany.

Table 1: The percentage of producers produced the organic products in 2009 classified as the type of producers.

Numbers of Producers/ Business / Percentage (%) / Areas (Hectares) / Percentage (%)
Producers under the regulation of Europe Bio (EU-Bio) / 9,979 / 47.5 / 298,218 / 31.3
Producers under the regulations of Germany (Verbands –Bio) / 11,030 / 52.5 / 653,339 / 68.7
All producers / 21,009 / 100 / 951,557 / 100
Percentage of total agriculture / 5.9 % / 5.6%

The farmers produced the products of organic foods gathering in many associations under the Organic Food Federation confederated by a group of products, regulation of products and area of products. The statistic information of the Organic Food Federation in 2009 reported that there were farmers and producers produced the organic food which members of the federation 11,030 companies. Comparing with last year, there was manufacturing increased 6% or 620 companies; areas for all agricultures in 2009 were 653,339 hectares increased 5.2 % or 32,301 hectares. There was producing organic product in the eastern German much more than western German.

Table 2: Producers Federation of Germany in 2009

No. / Federation / The Number of Farmers / Areas (Hectares)
(2008) / (2009) / (2008) / (2009)
1 / Bioland / 4,967 / 5,233 / 243,966 / 257,019
2 / Naturaland / 2,005 / 2,214 / 93,964 / 105,316
3 / Demeter / 1,341 / 1,388 / 60,365 / 64,253
4 / Biokreis / 726 / 810 / 29,057 / 33,433
5 / Biopark / 659 / 647 / 139,600 / 138,167
6 / Gaa / 325 / 337 / 31,092 / 32,588
7 / Ecovin / 197 / 210 / 1,150 / 1,307
8 / Verband Okohofe / 161 / 162 / 19,958 / 19,208
Total / 10,410 / 11,030 / 621,038 / 659,339

Picture 1: The Percentage of Producers Federation produced the products of organic products in Germany

3. Marketing Channels

At the present time the consumers in Germany consume the products of organic foods about 12-18 billion members or 17-20 % of all population because the price of organic products are rather expensive than the general products produced normally about 10-40 %. However, last year the retail shop and supermarket which are discounters decreased the price of their organic products to attract the more interest from the customers especially some fruits and vegetables which have continuously high amount of consuming such as carrot, banana, cabbage etc.

The marketing channels can be classified into the organic products as:

  1. The general retail shop and supermarkets
  2. Discounter supermarket
  3. The particular shop or supermarkets sell only the organic products.
  4. The shop for good health (Reform House)
  5. Bakery or hand work
  6. The shops of producers

In 2009 the market of organic products in Germany had continuously sold although the total circulation would less increase comparing with last year. It was 1% or 5.8 billion Euros. The reason of growth rate decreasing did not come from decreasing popularity of organic products but it came from the economic system affecting from the impact of global economy. The statistic report was shown that amount of spending money for conventional products of consumers in German in 2009 decreased at 2.4 %. It showed that the decreased amount of trading organic products decreased was less than decreased amount of trading the general food products. It could be said that the stable structure and popularity of consumers to the organic products were rather high level continuously. This good affects to export the organic rice and other organic products of Thai to the market in Germany.

Moreover, in the overview of the particular shops and supermarkets only sold the organic products have very much increasingly got the popularity. In 2009 those shops had the high circulation of selling products at 4% comparing with last year because there were obvious kinds of products and salespersons could tell the clear information about the organic products to the customers such as these shops; Basic, Alnatura, Reformhaus, Bio Markt etc.

The Picture 2: The circulation of organic food was classified into the types of business

4. Developing Market of Organic Products in 2009

Developing market of organic product in Germany can be concluded as:

  1. The discounter supermarkets which are very impact to market. The products can be dispensed to the customers very wide because these shops have most regular customers, many branches and established in the places where the customers can easily find them. So, it is easy to dispense the products of organic food.
  2. Giving more market share of discounter supermarket affects to the factors of productions’ price. However, although the strategy of decreasing product’s price can get more quantity oftrading but cannot get more total circulation of trading.
  3. The total products of organic food have stable price or decrease when comparing with last year.
  4. Consumers interest in the obvious kinds of products available in the shop. The information can be referred from the Organic Food Federation about the particular shops and supermarkets sell only the organic products specified that the shop or supermarket which have large areas (Larger than 300 square kilometers) will become more popular for the customers than the smaller shop or supermarkets. This affects to 100 small shops or supermarket closed themselves in 2009.
  5. The organic products produced by the producers in each locality of Germany are most reliable to the customers. It affects to have growth rate in other organic products in other cities.

The Picture 3: Distribution of the particular shop or supermarkets sells only the organic Products in Germany.

(Rate: 100,000 people in the city where have population more than 100,000 people)

Source: Zeit Magazin

5. The Example Products of Organic Food in Germany

Picture 4: The circulation of selling products of organic food in 2009 (January-November) compared with the same time of 2008.

  • Cereal
  • Products from meat/sausage
  • Yogurt
  • Cooking oil
  • Quark
  • Egg
  • Sauce
  • Canned food
  • Hot drinks
  • Parfait
  • Fresh meat
  • Non-alcohol drinks
  • Baby food
  • Tomato
  • Low fat milk
  • Bakery
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Butter
  • Beverage from dairy products
  • Sweets
  • Vegetable
  • Sugar
  • Side dishes
  • Milk

6. Certification Organic Products

All organic products in Germany must be controlled and certified to get the standard according to the EU law No. 2092/91 (EEC No.2092/91), the agricultural products,organic food, organic agricultural methods and agriculture for BIO products. It is consistent with the regulation of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement) which is very important organization of organic agriculture and recognized as the one of the world. The only standard organic products certified have right to use the logo of certified organic products which will have the different agencies to certify them.

The logo certified organic products in Germany can classify into agencies and organizations which check out certification as:

3.1 The EU-Logo had started to use since 2001. It is green circle and it has blue circle inside. In the blue circle it has 12 white stars surrounded with the green ear of rice. The outside of circle has blue triangles around the circle and there is passage in it translated into official language of EU. At the present EU is arranging the contest to design a new logo. It is anticipated that a new logo would be formally announced to use it in the middle year of 2009. However, in Germany there was less using the EU-Logy because logo of Germany government was more popular.

3.2 German Bio Logo had started to use since 2000 for the products of organic food, other organic products. The logo is green hexagon. The inside of it is white and there is black and green letter referring to the EU law. This logo has been popularized the most in Germany because it has been very well known by people and neighboring countries such as French etc. The quantity of products used the logo certified by the government in 2009 was 56,065 types from the number of producers were 3,413 members. There were quantity of product increasingly used the logo 35,200 types.

3.3 Logo of Producer Association, confederation of producers the products of organic products classified from the property, regulation and area of products. The most producers set higher standard than certified standard of Germany government and EU. The important logos are Bioland, Naturaland and Demeter.

In addition to those logos, there is also Fairtrade which has been popularized by most people. This logo is commercial logy of fair-trade recognized by ELO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International). There are regulations such as buying directly the organic products from the farmers with higher price and justice, helping farmers to develop production, management and selling. At the present time the consumers in Germany and EU continuously focus on this standard and the standard of organic products. This resulted in the organic products produced by the producers must adjust the strategy of marketing channel by using Fairtrade logo to increase the value of their organic products. In 2005 two-thirds of organic products used Fairtrade logo at 45% and increased at 65% in 2006.

7. Structure of Tax, Regulation and Related Measure

7.1 Structure of Tax

(1) Value Added Tax, at the present, has the rate of 19% for general products but food has rate of 7%.

(2) Import Duty classified into type of products will pay tax as:

- Material goods will not exceed 4%

- Rudimentary products will not exceed 20%

(3) Tariff, Germany uses tariff as Harmonized System and custom officials check out the completeness of document whether it is right with coordinated products specified in importing document and then issue the confirmation letter to confirm the completeness of document.

7.2 Non-Tariff Measure

(1) Import License, the agricultural products must pay import tax and have import license all the time.

(2) Special Quota, dividing special quota for products from Eastern Europe Countries is obstacle to Thai trading because Thai products exports to Germany are disadvantageous price comparing with these countries which get this special quota.

(3) Product checking, the custom officials may take a random to check import license and take products which are available in the market to temporarily check or check when getting inform from customers about sanitation and size of package. If the result of checking is not correct as the specification from the document, those products will be removed from the market.

(4) New Regulation for Products, Germany emphasizes to the safety of consumer’s health and environmental protection and natural resource conservation, so there is setting many regulations to succeed these purposes.

(5) Responsibility for the Products, all products import to the market have regulation as the law specified that whenever the products cause the damage to consumers about their health or the environment, the producers must take responsibility to that damage not exceeding 100 million Euros. However, if they are import products, the imported must take responsibility to that damage except the agricultural products that don’t have converged.

8. Name and Address of Related Organization and Federation

1. Bioland Bundesverband

Kaiserstr. 18

55116 Mainz

Tel.: +49-61361-239790

Fax: +49-6131-2397927

2. Bund Oekoklogische Lebensmittelwirtschaft

Marienstrasse 19-20

10117 Berlin

E-Mail :

3. Assoziation Oekologische Lebensmittelhersteller

Zum Pilsterhof 7

97769 Oberleichtersbach

Tel.: +49-9741-4834

Fax: +49-9741-932201

4. Biokreis e.V.

Regensburger Str. 34

94036 Passau

Tel.: +49-851-756500

Fax: +49-851-7565025

5. Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung

Deichmanns Aue 29

53179 Bonn

Tel: +49 228 - 68 45-3355

Fax: +49 228 - 68 45-2907



6. Geschäftsstelle Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau in der Bundesanstalt für

Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE)

Deichmanns Aue 29

53179 Bonn

Tel.: +49 228 - 68 45-3355

Fax: +49 228 - 68 45-2907


7. Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren Hersteller und Handel e.V.

Eberplatz 1

50668 Koeln

Tel.: +49-221-13975644

Fax: +49-221-13975640

8. Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz (BMELV)

Rochusstr. 1, 53123 Bonn

Post box: 14 02 70, 53107 Bonn

Tel: 0228/529-0

Fax: 0228/529-4262


9. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement


9. Food Products and Organic Products Expo in Germany

1. Grüne Woche Berlin 21-30.01.2011

International Green Week Berlin

Messe Berlin GmbH

Messedamm 22

14055 Berlin

Tel.: +49-30-30382026

Fax: +49-30-30382019

E-mail :

2. Fruit Logistica 9-11.02.2011

International Trade Fair for Fruit and Vegetable Marketing

Messe Berlin GmbH

Messedamm 22

14055 Berlin

Tel.: +49-30-30382047

Fax: +49-30-30382020


3. Biofach 16-19.02.2011

World Organic Trade Fair

NürnbergMesse GmbH


90471 Nürnberg

Tel.: +49-911-86068648

Fax: +49-911-86068634


4. Fish International 12-14.02.2012

International Trade Fair for Fish and Seafood

MGH Messe- und Ausstellungsges. Hansa GmbH


20209 Bremen

Tel.: +49-421-3505260

Fax: +49-421-3505261


5. InterMopro 23-26.09.2011

International Trade Fair Dairy Products

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Messeplatz 1

40474 Düsseldorf

Tel.: +49-211-4560900

Fax: +49-211-4560668


6. Intercool 23-26.09.2011

International Trade Fair Frozen Food, Ice Cream, Refrigeration Technology

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Messeplatz 1

40474 Düsseldorf

Tel.: +49-211-4560900

Fax: +49-211-4560668


7. InterMeat 23-26.09.2011

International Trade Fair Meat, Cold Meat and Sausage

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Messeplatz 1

40474 Düsseldorf

Tel.: +49-211-4560900

Fax: +49-211-4560668


Department of International Trade Promotion, Frankfurt, Germany

January, 2011