BERNHARD FREYER, MICHAEL EDER, WALTER SCHNEEBERGER, IKA DARNHOFER, LEOPOLD KIRNER, THOMAS LINDENTHAL, WERNER ZOLLITSCH
Published: 12.11.2001 〉 Heft 7 (von 8) / 2001 〉 Resort: Articles
Submitted: N. A. 〉 Feedback to authors after first review: N. A. 〉 Accepted: N. A.
Until now, organic farming in Austria saw its largest growth in the period between 1994 and 1998. The following factors all contributed to Austria achieving the highest percentage of organic farms in Europe: the early addition of guidelines for organic crop production and animal husbandry to the Austrian Codex Alimentarius, the government support for organic farms during and after conversion through compensatory payments, favourable market conditions through the entrance of supermarket chains, the establishment of a marketing company, an active policy by the organic associations and the development of advisory services. However, this dynamic development has not persisted in the late nineties. Whether the crises in conventional production will provide organic farming with a stimulus through the ongoing strong demand for organic products cannot yet be ascertained. Although economic analyses for selected farms and regions have demonstrated the competitiveness of this farming method, under the current environment various barriers and a general reluctance remain, hampering a strong increase in the number of organic farms. In the framework of a high export rate, redoubled efforts are necessary if Austria is to remain among the countries with the highest rates of organic farms. Various initiatives aim to stimulate both the rate of conversion, particularly in cash crop areas, and the demand for organic products.