Press Release BIOFACH 2019

PRESS RELEASE 10.01.2019

10.01.2019 Organic breeding makes the organic sector better and more independent

A special exhibition at the Biofach shows the current state and the central importance of organic breeding.

20 different organic breeding initiatives will present themselves in a special exhibition at the Nuremberg BIOFACH from 13th to 16th February 2019. It shows what organic breeding has already achieved, but also where further development is needed. Because only plant varieties and animal breeds that are specially tailored to organic farming make organic farming sustainable. This benefits the entire organic sector.

Following last year’s great success, European organic breeders under the leadership of the Swiss organic organization Bioverita once again are putting on the exhibition “Organic right from the start”. In the middle entrance foyer of the exhibition center, visitors get a chance to not only look at exhibits but also to talk to breeders and join a discussion forum on organic breeding. Central message: Independent organic breeding is a fundamental cornerstone for organic farming and thus also the organic processors and organic traders.


Lots of organic plant breeding for independent organic farming

Most exhibitors come work in plant breeding. For example, the Swiss Sativa Rheinau AG provides information on the status of its current breeding projects for kohlrabi, carrots and tomatoes. The plant breeders Charlotte Aichholz and Noémi Uehlinger from this company personally like to tell interested people about what their work entails. “Organic farmers rely on robust varieties that produce good results without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  Unfortunately, organic varieties are still missing in many species. And existing varieties are threatened by new genetic engineering methods and the increasing concentration on a few suppliers,” explains Markus Johann, Managing Director of Bioverita. The work of the many regional organic breeders is a counterpoint to the increasing power concentration of the large seed multinationals.

The special exhibition illustrates the different levels of different species. Whereas grain breeding pioneers have already launched many established organic varieties on the market, special organic fruit varieties will only reach the market in the next few years. Organic fruit growers like Apfel:gut and Poma Culta illustrate how time-consuming their work is. Because organic fruit varieties must be robust at the same time, that is, without chemical crop protection, and also taste great.


Better animal welfare thanks to organic breeding

Some animal breeders are also represented at the special exhibition. At her stand Inga Günther, the managing director of the Ökologische Tierzucht GmbH (ÖTZ), will provide information about the organic chicken of tomorrow. Visitors get to experience the first steps in breeding varieties that will completely eliminate the need for killing male chicks in the organic sector. “When it comes to cattle, mainly female animals are already bred on the organic farms today. Ruminants are perfectly developed for the digestion of cellulose as well as for continually walking around. Organic cattle breeding therefore focuses on good grazing ability, health and longevity”, explains Markus Johann.

Own organic breeding requires a lot of money and commitment. Therefore, the special exhibition is also dedicated to financing. For example, organic companies and private individuals can show solidarity with the breeders during a special event at the exhibition. For there is still a lack of available finance for truly sustainable organic breeding.


The breeding initiatives and organizations at the special exhibition:


  • Apfel:gut Obstzüchtung
  • Bingenheimer Saatgut AG
  • Bioverita – for organic from the start
  • Culinaris – seed for food
  • Ellenberg’s Kartoffelvielfalt GbR
  • EUNA – European Association for Natural Cattle Breeding
  • Forschung & Züchtung Dottenfelder Hof – LBS e.V.
  • Getreidezüchtung Peter Kunz
  • Getreidezüchtungsforschung Darzau
  • Keyserlingk-Institut:
  • Kultursaat e.V.
  • Ökologische Tierzucht gGmbH
  • Poma Culta apple breeding
  • ReinSaat KG
  • Rinklin Naturkost
  • Saat:gut e.V.
  • Sativa Rheinau AG
  • Stichting Zaadvast
  • Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft – Seed and Animal Breeding Fund

Contact for press and media:
Markus Johann, Phone:  +41 79 636 5364, Email:

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