Luxembourg is on track to miss an objective set in 2020 to increase its share of organic farming to 20 per cent by 2025. Progress is currently at 6 per cent. And although the sector is strong in the Grand Duchy producers and retailers agree that a change in people’s mindset is needed.
Organic production is a key component of the EU’s Green Deal and Luxembourg ranks third among EU member states in annual spending on bio labelled products per inhabitant. With that in mind, the agriculture ministry stepped up its efforts in 2020. It targeted not only 20 per cent of farmland to be organic by 2025 but also going all the way to 100 per cent by 2050. Despite being set to miss the ministry’s goal, the sector has been doing well in recent years with some new businesses coming onto the scene while others became even more established.
Conventional to organic
An early adopter of organic farming in Luxembourg is the Kass Haff farm, which made the switch 25 years ago. Tom Kass who runs the business with his wife Anja says he "only" got into the idea of non-conventional farming in his last year of university in Germany. "We created a small group of students interested in selling organic products to other students, " he says. This small step, followed by visits to other countries to learn more about organic farming, eventually led to Kass converting the family farm on which he grew up in Luxembourg into an organic one. That required moving the establishment from Rollingen, near Mersch, to the outskirts of the village and growing in size from 50 to 100 hectares. In order to finance the farm’s move Kass restructured its ownership with 30 per cent held by him, 30 per cent by his wife, 30 per cent by holding company Oikopolis and the remaining 10 per cent by 23 private persons.
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