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Chronology of the Development of Organic Farming in Austria

1924 Rudolf Steiner: agricultural course in Koberwitz (humanities-related background)

1927 – 1935: First biodynamic farms are founded in Carinthia (e.g. Sekera, Görbing, France)

1946: Foundation of the Research Ring for biodynamic subsistence strategies in Darmstadt

Beginning of the 60s: First Austrian contacts with organic farming in Switzerland (agricultural policy background)

1962: Foundation of the Association for the Promotion of Healthy Farmers; Conversion of the first farms to organic subsistence strategies in Upper Austria

From 1962 onwards: First Multiplier Stage: Activities Emerge Regarding Speeches and Counseling

1969 Foundation of the Demeter Union Austria

1976 (student-led) symposium at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

1979 Foundation of the Organization of Organically Subsiding Farmers in Austria

1980 First common cultivation guidelines by the Organic Farming Association, foundation of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Organic Farming

1981 First trademarks for organic farming are registered, Department of Organic Farming is installed at the Federal Institute for Agriculture and Chemistry in Linz

From 1981 onwards: Second Multiplier Stage

Courses on soil and composting as well as agrarian policy argumentation support offered by the Mountain Farmers Association,

Free elective course „Introduction to Organic Farming“ offered at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences;
Commencement of research work at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute;
1984 foundation of the working partnership (ARGE) Organic Farming.

From 1985 onwards Third Multiplier State

Agroecology courses offered in all of Austria

1987 Foundation of Soil & Seed; foundation of the Organic Farming Society Ennstal, foundation of the Organic Farming Society - Weinviertel

1989 Guidelines are determined for vegetable products that include the label element „organic“ as well as for further processed products made out of these, the guidelines can be found in the Austrian Food Code (subchapter A)

1990 Foundation of the Working Partnership for the Promotion of Organic Farming, foundation of Dinatur – an association for progressively controlled organic farming

From 1990 onwards single farm promotion of conversion for organic farms carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

1991 In the Austrian Food Code guidelines for agricultural products of animal origin that include the label „organic“ are determined (subchapter B), furthermore secondary products made with components of vegetable origin are dealt with (subchapter C). Foundation of KOPRA – a working partnership between consumers and producers

From 1991 onwards: Forth Multiplier Stage

Information campaign on organic farming carried out by the working partnership Organic Farming (ARGE Biolandbau)

Promotion of organic farms by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

1992 Guest professorship for Organic Farming is established at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

1994 Foundation of the ÖIG (Austrian Interest Group of Organic Farming)

From 1994 onwards Austrian food store chains massively get into the marketing of organic products

1995 Promotion of organic farms in the framework of the ÖPUL, an institution of the Ordinariate of Organic Farming at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, in the framework of the Organic Food Code the animal welfare index (Bartussek) is realized

1996 Austria with its approximately 20,000 organic farmers on a surface ratio of 8 percent holds the leading position within the EU as far as the changeover rate is concerned. Food brand manufacturers enter the organic sector.

2000 Organic farming increases its products export. In the mountainous regions several switch-backs occur. In contrast to this, the percentage of field production farms increases. Also due to the BSE scandal, sales of animal products can be increased significantly. At the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, the lecture “Introduction to Organic Farming” is turned into a compulsory subject. From the third study part onwards, Organic Farming can now be chosen as a specialization. For the first time also a comprehensive course offer on organic farming in arid, semiarid, subtropical and tropical climatic regions can be provided.