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Conversion and retention premiums in organic farming


Abandoning artificial fertilisers and chemical pesticides requires farmers to change their farming methods and increases the need for labour. Produce grown during the conversion period cannot yet be certified organic and has to be sold as conventional agricultural produce. For this reason, the conversion period attracts a conversion premium of a certain amount of money per field. Once products can be sold as organic at the end of the conversion period, the premium is reduced. This is known as a ‘retention premium’.


  • Clear and coherent political strategy and targets for policy-makers and public authorities
  • Monitoring and control system for the agricultural production processes supported
  • Regulated and legally protected payment structures
  • Sanction mechanisms
  • Regular staff instruction

Possible Negative Effects

  • The conversion must be financially viable in the long term and can be supported by means of the premium payment
  • Temporarily falling yields
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This page was last edited on 7 May 2023 | 7:22 (CEST)
  • Instruments
  • Policy Objectives