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Country report - Liechtenstein

by Klaus Büchel, Office for Agriculture and Environment, Liechtenstein.

This article was originally written for the publication "Organic in Europe", published by the IFOAM EU Group in collaboration with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland, and the Mediterranean Institute for Agronomic Research CIHEAM-IAM, Bari, Italy.

Key indicators 2012

  • Organic agricultural area: 1,087 hectares
  • Operators:
    • Organic producers: 35
    • Organic processors: no data
    • Organic importers: no data
    • Organic exporters: no data
  • Retail sales: EUR 4.7 million

Data: Office for Agriculture and Environment

History of organic farming

  • 1991: Organic farming begins in Liechtenstein
  • 1991: ÖKO-BAUER project is launched and a professional conversion advisory service is set up
  • 1995: Twelve farms in one village (Triesenberg) convert to organic agriculture
  • 2009: The agriculture law is introduced, which regulates direct payments.

Key sector institutions

  • Organic advisory service Liechtenstein
  • Farmers' association in the principality of Liechtenstein: www.vbo.li
  • Bio Suisse, the Swiss Federation of organic organisations: www.biosuisse.ch

Production base: land use and key crops

Of the total area of 1,087 hectares

  • 67.5% consists of permanent grassland and grazing areas,
  • 27.3% arable land,
  • 4.7% other agricutural land and
  • 0.5% permanent crops.

The key arable crops are

  • green fodder from arable land, and
  • cereals and vegetables.

The key permanent crops are

  • fruits (apples, berries, pears) and
  • grapes.


The most important branch of agricultural production in Liechtenstein is dairy production. More than 60% of the gross yield in agriculture comes from dairy farming.
An extensive range of organic products is produced in Liechtenstein. The Milchhof Liechtenstein AG processes and markets all milk and dairy products from the country, either in Liechtenstein itself, or in Switzerland. During the last years, direct marketing of farm products has become increasingly important.

  • Top-selling products: Cows' milk, meat (beef and lamb), and cereals.
  • Market channels: Food processors (Hilcona AG, Milchhof AG), wholesalers (MIGROS, COOP), trading firms and regional markets are the most important purchasers of organic products from Liechtenstein.
  • Exports and imports: There are no data on exports and imports. A large share of Liechtenstein's organic produce is sold in Switzerland.

Standards, legislation, organic logo

The production standards of the Swiss organisation Bio Suisse provide the basis for organic production in Liechtenstein. All the organic farms produce according to the Swiss guidelines, and are subject to annual controls. The standards and practice of control are the same as in Switzerland, and the Swiss ordinance on organic farming also applies.
An organic logo has been introduced (Bioland Liechtenstein) to raise the profile of the country's organic products. It guarantees compliance with the Bio Suisse standards, and proves that products come from Liechtenstein. Because of the shared economic area with Switzerland, that country's organic labels are also used for products from Liechtenstein. Many farmers produce to supply the retailers MIGROS or COOP with organic goods; one farmer produces according to Demeter standards.

Policy support

As an independent country, Liechtenstein has its own agricultural policy with its own programmes, although that policy is aligned with Swiss agricultural policy, as the two countries operate in the same economic area. There are, however, some differences in legislation. Based on a mission statement by the parliament in 2004, an agricultural framework law was created, which came into effect on 1 July, 2009. According to this, agricultural production in Liechtenstein should be sustainable and market-orientated, and produce healthy and safe food. The agricultural regulations define the rules for organic production and for the different support programmes. Compensatory payments are made according to the area managed organically.

  • National action plan: There is no action plan for organic agriculture in Liechtenstein.
  • Other policy support: The Liechtenstein government provides support for organic advisory services.

Research & advice

As regards research, Liechtenstein makes use of activities in Switzerland, where the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) plays a leading role.
Advice for farmers is provided by Bioberatung Liechtenstein.

Challenges & outlook

Organic agriculture has developed strongly in recent years, and a consolidation process is now noticeable. Organic farming has become an inherent part of agriculture in Liechtenstein. It is also anchored in government regulations, with the clear aim of optimising and further developing production.
The goals are to consolidate the organic market by improving processing facilities and adding value to organic products; to expand organic farming further and improve the standard of organic production at the farm level through professional farm management, based on the principles of organic farming; to achieve the market-orientated enhancement of organic production (especially in the vegetable and crop sector) as a basis for diversification in organic farming; and to secure rural livelihoods through the targeted economic development of organic farms.

Further information

  • VBO, news and information on agriculture in Liechtenstein: www.vbo.li

For other relevant websites, see the section on key sector institutions.


Klaus Büchel
Office for Agriculture and Environment
Wegacker 5
Postfach 54
9493 Mauren
Tel.: (+423) 375 9050
Fax: (+423) 375 9051