Organic farms faced with competition from imported produce

''Organic farming has moved on from the values for which I had abandoned traditional farming'' explains Hans Hirch Hatje in an article for Le Monde. ''Local production, respecting the environment, it has become a globalised production on huge farms which are the only ones that can stand up to the competition''.

Consumers in Germany have a large variety of organic products at low prices imported from Poland and outside of the EU on offer. Organic, but no longer environmentally friendly.

Hans Hinrich Hatje has thrown in the towel. His son has taken over the 170 ha farm for traditional farming. According to a study by the Thünen Institute, 5% of organic farmers are rethinking the decision.

23,000 German organic farmers are too few to be both competitive and fulfil the rising demand for organic produce. They are faced with competition from low-priced imported produce from Poland and outside of the EU.

However, in France, organic farmers have no reason to escape the phenomenon. The Agence Bio is pleased with the amount of farmers converting to organic farming, but the sector is not structured enough to ensure them profitable turnover in the longterm. Yet as national production does not cover consumer demand, the retailers turn to large imports at lower prices than those on the French market.


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