Briefs on International Trade (BIT) 2021/06 - Department of Commerce

17th December 2021

Germany is the country with a longest tradition in organic farming and marketing for health products. The first reform shops opened more than 100 years ago as part of a food reform movement. About 30 - 35 years ago the first natural food stores were founded. Mainly carrying organic products, they expressed criticism of industrial society and presented an alternative to conventional grocery trade. Together with growing organic agriculture they experienced double-figure growth rates. Only many years later (early 1990s) supermarkets entered the field.

Today Germany is one of the largest organic markets in the world and the number one market in the EU with the value of Euros 12.0 billion. Germany is also one of the biggest importers of organic products. The recent BSE crises (mad cow disease) and other food scares had a positive impact on the organic market in Europe because of rising awareness among consumers.

The guiding principle of organic farming is management in harmony with nature. The agricultural holding is mainly perceived as an organism comprising the components man, flora, fauna and soil. In its various forms, organic farming enjoys a long-standing tradition. Biodynamic farming was introduced in 1924 and the origins of organic-biological and environmentally adapted farming also date back well into the last century in Germany.


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