As the beginning of the organic movement in Austria is the year 1927 with the first pioneers in Carinthia, The first association was ORBI in 1959. Until the 1980s, the pioneers of the organic movement saw themselves as an alternative to the capitalist social order. Rudolf's social ideas were of great importance Steiner (1861-1925), one of the initiators for the organic movement and later with the brand DEMETER of Biodynamic viticulture, The first organic association in Austria was ORBI (Organic-Organic Agriculture), founded in 1959.
At the beginning of the 1990s, there was a real boom, with which marketing became increasingly important. This made organic interesting for a wide range of farmers and consumers and also discovered by retailers. A number of successful organic private labels emerged, such as “Yes! Natural ”(Billa, Merkur),“ Pure nature ”(Spar) and nature active (Hofer).
Bio Austria as the umbrella organization or the joint organization of Austrian organic farmers was created at the end of 2005 through the amalgamation of 16 organic associations. The predecessors were the "Bio Harvest Austria" association (formerly "Harvest for Life"), founded in 1979, as well as the two umbrella organizations "Arge Biolandbau" in 1990 and "ÖIG Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Biolandbau" in 1994. Bio Austria is but also one of the many organic associations with its own guidelines and also carries out controls. However, it is not allowed to issue organic certification and not as one of the official ones Organic checkpoints act. The 16 Austrian organic associations are (in brackets the year of foundation):
Bio Austria employs around 100 people at state or federal level with the two office locations in Wien and Linz. The regional offices are given the name of the federal state, such as "Bio Austria Burgenland". The association represents about 70% of Austria's 20,000 organic farmers with around 13,000 members and 250 cooperating companies, including numerous wine-growing companies for which it has been operating since 2012 EU Organic Regulation now also rules for the production of Biowein there (until then, the requirements only related to management). The total turnover is around € 300 million, making Bio Austria one of the largest organic associations in the European Union,
The organic farmers have committed themselves to five values regarding their products. These are ecology, Dignity of animals, research and innovation, fair prices and "organic farming food culture". Bio Austria's goal is to develop organic agriculture with sustainability, as well as securing the sales markets for organic food. Corresponding public relations and lobbying activities are also carried out. The most important tasks are advice on questions of organic farming, creation and further development of production guidelines and assistance in regional, national and international marketing. The German counterpart is the one founded in 2002 BÖLW (Association of Organic Food Management). See also under the topic Organic (ecological) viticulture,