Home » News

Germany: Study on the Foreign Supply of Organic Apples: Consequences for German Organic Apple Producers

In the Framework of the German Federal Scheme for Organic Farming and other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture (BÖLN) recently a study on apple imports to Germany was released.


The main objective of the research project "Foreign Supply of Organic Apples: Consequences for German Organic Apple Producers" was to identify success factors of German producers within the market for organic apples. On this basis, recommendations for actors in the German organic apple market as well as for actors in other organic markets were elaborated.

A multi-step research approach was used, including the analysis of existing market data and primary research based on interviews with various stakeholders of the organic apple market.

Germany is the second largest producer of organic apples in Europe with only Italy producing higher quantities. The production of organic apples is highly concentrated mainly in three regions of Germany, Niederelbe, Niederrhein and Bodensee. Despite significant enlargements of production area during the last years, the quantity produced has not increased until 2011 due to weather conditions. The interviews with stakeholders of the organic apple market chain revealed that demand for German organic apples exceeds supply, resulting in relatively high and stable prices for German organic apple producers. The producers are thus in a position to invest in production and storage technology in order to enhance quality and availability of organic apples. Important success factors of the organic apple market result from the specific characteristics of the product itself, namely that apples can easily be stored and that consumers show a high preference for regional or domestic produce.

Moreover, a high level of cooperation and commitment among the stakeholders of the supply chain foster a good competitive position. Further success factors are the regional concentration of production and the integration of produce from different farmers’ organisations.

With regard to further activities within the organic apple market, the authors recommend to increasingly launch communication activities on regional/domestic production and specific characteristics of German apples compared to those from foreign countries. Actors within other organic product markets are advised to cultivate good relations with their trading partners and competitors, and to improve their communication activities on regional/domestic production. Finally, the successful structures found in the market for organic apples should increasingly be used for the marketing of other fruits.

Source: English Summary at Organic Eprints of the study Ausländisches Angebot an ökologischen Äpfeln: Bedeutung für deutsche Öko-Apfelerzeuger

Further information


  • Dr. Katrin Zander, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany



Dr. Katrin Zander
University of Kassel
Agricultural and Food Marketing
Steinstraße 19
37213 Witzenhausen

This website is
implemented by

FiBL Logo

Supported by