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legal form registered association
founding 1971
Seat Mainz ( coordinates: 50 ° 0 ′ 9.7 ″  N , 8 ° 15 ′ 46.4 ″  E )
main emphasis Organic farming
Chair Jan Plagge
Members 8154 and
1202 contract partners in manufacturing and trading (2019)

Bioland is a cultivation association and a member of the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW) .


The number of companies in Germany that work according to the guidelines of the association is given as of January 1, 2020 as 8154, with a total area of ​​451,048 hectares. According to the BÖLW, Bioland is the largest organic farming association in Germany. The organically produced products are partly sold directly from the farmers to the customers, mostly at weekly markets or via one of the 1202 contractual partners (including bakeries, breweries, gastronomy, retail, butchers, dairies, juice and wine producers), including organic shops and health food stores . The first products have also been available from Lidl since November 2018 .

Growing guidelines

The economy of the Bioland farms is based on a circular economy that works without synthetic pesticides and chemical-synthetic nitrogen fertilizers . In total, Bioland sets seven basic principles for organic agriculture. Bioland's guidelines are stricter than those of the EU organic regulation . For example, organic farms are not allowed to practice conventional cultivation in parallel, even if both types of cultivation are separate from one another.

Seven principles of Bioland

Circular economy

The circular economy assumes that the production of food works without external fertilizer sources. Waste products from agriculture itself, such as manure and compost, are used for regeneration in the field. Bioland is convinced that organic farming can do without chemical-synthetic nitrogen fertilizers .

Promote soil fertility

Bioland farmers do not use chemical fertilizers. In order to nevertheless increase the fertility of the arable land and to have sufficient humus in the soil, numerous measures are taken, such as the application of compost or the planting of so-called catch crops. The aim is to increase the number and activity of soil organisms .

Animal Welfare

The animals must be kept according to special guidelines. The basic approach is to view animals as living beings. In order to achieve this, three basic principles should be adhered to in animal husbandry: more feed quality, more quality of life and more living space.

Valuable food

The focus is on food as such. In order to make the taste of the food more recognizable, for example, the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemical-synthetic pesticides should be avoided. In addition, no genetically modified plants should be grown. Food should also be prepared gently during processing .

Promote biological diversity

By preserving the diversity of species, the biological balance and the stability of nature should be secured. Bioland differentiates between three areas in which biological diversity can be promoted: in the landscape, in the field and on the farm.

Preserve the natural basis of life

Earth, air and water form the natural basis of life for everything. Handling natural resources sparingly and using them sustainably is the central point of this Bioland principle.

Secure a future worth living for people

Assuming that resources are becoming increasingly scarce, the future lies in a regional value chain . The participants in this chain (farmers, retailers , consumers) are moving closer together and have to deal fairly with one another. This system creates jobs in the region within the value chain , for example through processing companies, which in turn further strengthens the region.

Comparison of the Bioland guidelines with the EC organic regulation

Some points have been selected from the guidelines of Bioland and from those of the EC organic regulation and placed side by side in the following table. At this point, Bioland is representative of the other German cultivation associations, whose set of rules is largely identical.

Bioland Logo 2012.svg


EC organic regulation
Management form Total company conversion, exclusively ecological management of all branches of business required Partial conversion and thus ecological and conventional management possible in one company
maximum number of animals per hectare of agricultural area z. B. 10 fattening pigs, 280 broilers or 140 laying hens z. B. 14 fattening pigs, 580 broilers or 230 laying hens
Nitrogen fertilizer The amount of fertilization is based on the permitted number of animals per area The total amount of fertilizer is limited by the fertilizer ordinance
Commercial organic fertilizers Blood, meat and bone meal and guano are prohibited Blood, meat and bone meal and guano are permitted
Cow trainer not permitted not regulated (prohibited in some member states by animal welfare law)
Animal transport a maximum of 200 km and a maximum of 4 hours for a maximum of 8 hours
Purchase of feed Min. 50% of the feed must come from their own farm Own feed production not clearly prescribed
feeding Green feeding is compulsory in summer no regulation
processing “Organic” can be used if 100% of the ingredients are of organic origin “Organic” can be used if 95% of the ingredients are of organic origin
Use of food additives 24 additives are allowed 49 additives are allowed

See also: Comparison of organic labels


In Switzerland, the farmers' homeland movement was founded by the agricultural politician Hans Müller at the beginning of the 20th century . At that time, domestic agriculture was in a state of upheaval: the claim was: "Away from the traditional to an intensive chemical-technical, industry-dependent economy". With the independence of supply means and independent marketing, Müller wanted to secure the livelihood of the farmers with the help of the closed operating cycle. From this idea, the foundations of organic farming emerged before 1951, which he developed together with his wife Maria and the German doctor Hans Peter Rusch .

From 1951, contacts developed between the later founding families Scharpf, Colsman, Sippel, Rinklin, Wenz, Müller, Teschemacher, Hoops and the couple from Switzerland. New ideas arose at conferences, meetings and company tours on the Möschberg in Switzerland. In 1971 the registered association “bio-vegetables”, the forerunner of Bioland, was founded. The aim was to be able to implement these ideas and represent interests better. This association initially consisted of a total of 12 people. From “bio-gemüse eV” the “Association for the Promotion of Organic-Biological Agriculture and Horticulture” was formed. In 1976 the name “Bioland Association for Organic-Biological Agriculture” and “Bioland” as the trademark were chosen. In 1981 Bioland had 200 members. Jan Plagge has been president of the association since March 2011.

Bioland products have also been sold through Lidl in Germany since the end of 2018 .


A study by the market research institute Dr. Grieger & Cie. showed that Bioland is by far the best-known brand among the organic associations in Germany.

According to a study by Edelman and TheConsumerView, 78 percent of those surveyed consider the Bioland seal to be credible.

The demonstration We're sick of it! is supported jointly by Bioland and other organizations. The event takes place in Berlin at the beginning of January every year.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. "Power struggle in the Ökoverband ended" from March 16, 2011 , accessed on March 29, 2011
  2. a b Facts and Figures - Retrieved on: February 11, 2020
  3. BÖLW: Industry report 2020 (PDF; 7.9 MB) Organic food industry. In: . February 2020, p. 12 , accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  4. Alfons Deter: Lidl will be offering products from organic farmers from January. In: , October 12, 2018, accessed October 13, 2018.
  5. (PDF) Bioland: Seven principles for the agriculture of the future, accessed on August 12, 2019
  6. Guidelines for producers & processors , .
  7. Table comparison of the EU organic regulations and some cultivation associations , accessed on October 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Bioland: Bioland History , accessed December 17, 2016.
  9. Bioland cooperates with Lidl. In: January 15, 2019, accessed April 13, 2019 .
  10. Bioland: organic-biological recycling economy with a regional focus .
  11. The supporters of the demo "We're fed up!" ( Memento of the original from July 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /