Naturland Association for Organic Agriculture



We are convinced that improved access to knowledge and innovations in organic agriculture holds great potential for improving food security and raising the productivity of smallholders’ farms in the world, economically, ecologically and socially, in a sustainable manner. This creates stable production systems that at the same time make small farmers permanently independent of expensive agrochemistry. In addition, there is great potential to improve access for organic
farmers to regional and international markets. With this objective in mind Naturland is co-operating in various international development projects.


Future growth in sustainable, resilient and climate friendly organic and conventional European aquaculture

EU Future Aqua 350Naturland is partner in the project “Future growth in sustainable, resilient and climate friendly organic and conventional European aquaculture” (FutureEUAqua) has as overall objective to effectively promote the sustainable growth of climate-change resilient, environmentally-friendly organic and conventional aquaculture of major fish species and low trophic level organisms in Europe, to meet future challenges with respect to the growing consumer demand for high quality, nutritious and responsibly produced food. The 32 different SMEs, Associations, Research Institutes (RTD) and Other companies from the project will promote innovations in the whole value chain, including:


  • Sustainable breeding: Assessing, validating and demonstrating the level of the ability of the current breeding programs, breeding goals and methodologies.
  • Ingredients and feeds: Ensuring sustainable and resilient production by focusing on high fish performance, health and product quality.

Promoting new ideas in agriculture through networking

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The aim of the NEFERITITI project (Networking European Farms to Enhance Cross Fertilisation and Innovation Uptake through Demonstration) is to network outstanding farms and practical examples in order to increase knowledge transfer between farmers and promote new ideas. The project was launched in January 2018.

Ten thematic networks of demonstration and pilot farms will be established across Europe. Three of these networks are each assigned to the main sectors of animal production, crop production and horticulture. The tenth network targets young farmers and new business concepts.

The networks are intended to promote the exchange of knowledge among farmers in the 17 participating countries, as well as the transfer of innovations into agricultural practice. Different regional groups will be formed for each network.

Improving Inputs in Organic Farming Systems

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As a system approach to sustainable agriculture, organic farming aims to effectively manage ecological processes whilst lowering dependence on off-farm inputs. The project “Replacement of Contentious Inputs in Organic Farming Systems” (RELACS) will foster the development and facilitate the adoption of cost-efficient and environmentally safe tools and technologies, to phase out the dependency on and use of inputs considered contentious in organic farming systems.

The 29 RELACS project partners will evaluate far advanced and new solutions to further reduce the use of external inputs and, if needed, develop and adopt cost-efficient and environmentally safe tools and technologies to:

  • Reduce the use of copper and mineral oil in plant protection
  • Identify sustainable sources for plant nutrition, and
  • Provide solutions to support livestock health and welfare.

Increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of organic crop breeding

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The project ECOBREED will improve the availability of seed and varieties suitable for organic and low- input production. Activities will focus on four crop species, selected for their potential contribution to increase competitiveness of the organic sector, i.e. common wheat, potato, soybean and common buckwheat. The project will develop:

• methods, strategies and infrastructures for organic breeding
• varieties with improved stress resistance, resource use efficiency and quality
• improved methods for the production of high quality organic seed.

The project focuses on four cultural species, which play an important role in organic agriculture: Wheat (soft and durum wheat), potatoes, soya beans and buckwheat.
During the project, genetic material suitable for organic farming will be identified and propagated. This material will then be subjected to a detailed phenotypic analysis to identify combinations of traits suited to organic and low-input production environment including high nutrient use efficiency and weed competitiveness/allelopathy. This will lead to the development of improved organic strains in terms of nutritional quality, agronomy and stress tolerance.

Boosting Innovation in Organic Fruit production through strong knowledge Networks

BiofruitNet HDThe European Union is the world's leading region in organic fruit production with rapid growth. Nevertheless, organic fruit imports to the EU are also increasing.

That is partly fruit that cannot be grown in the EU, or is seasonally unavailable. However, there are also organic fruit imports because the demand cannot be met in the EU or the imported fruit is cheaper. European organic fruit producers have to face this challenge in order to remain successful in an increasingly competitive market

Multi-stakeholder project to strengthen transformative processes in shrimp trade as a basis for the protection of mangrove ecosystems in South Asia

Mangrovenwuchs auf Farm 2The mangrove forests of the tropical coasts are amongst the most important and productive eco-systems on earth. Because of their immense carbon storage potential and function as shield against extreme weather conditions, they play a central role in stabilizing the world's climate and protecting the coastal communities. Over the last decades, global mangrove forests have been severely decimated, with the spread of shrimp farming being one of the reasons. However, shrimp farming – as the central economic activity in the mangrove areas – has also the unique potential to significantly foster mangrove protection and restauration.

Naturland has been assisting the burundian coffee co-operative federation COCOCA since 2014, with the conversion of two primary cooperatives to organic coffee production. Now this pilot scheme, which is being run in close co-operation with WeltPartner eG and is receiving funding from the German province of Baden-Württemberg, has been expanded to include 17 grassroots co-operatives which will be receiving ongoing technical and scientific support.

The aim of the joint project (Development Partnership Project) of Gepa, GIZ and Naturland is to consolidate the production of organic cocoa at KONAFCOOP,  a cocoa cooperative in the South West Region in Cameroon,so that the more than 70 farmers who are already EU certified organic will convert all their fields to cocoa production according to Naturland guidelines in the future and more farmers will also be recruited for the organic programme.

The challenge is to optimise production conditions and establish a well-functioning internal control system. As part of the project, an existing handbook for organic cocoa will be revised, so that hopefully the organic pioneer KONAFCOOP will be followed by further cooperatives in the region. 

Improved access to knowledge about organic farming and its innovations has a great potential to increase smallholders’ productivity in Africa and India in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable fashion.

To reach this goal, the Organic Research Institute FiBL, the international umbrella organization for organic agriculture IFOAM Organics International and Naturland cooperate with seven “Green innovation centres for the agriculture and food sector” (GIAE) in Africa and India.

In October 2015, the EU Animal Welfare Project AWARE was launched. Naturland can now contribute its experience of the annual animal welfare inspections at the international level.

Together with the British eco-certification organization Soil Association, the Italian Control Authority CCPB, the Polish control body Agro Bio Test, the German Control Authority Society for Resource Conservation and with the participation of the Georg August University Göttingen, Naturland will work on improving and streamlining animal welfare checks within the next three years.