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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

'Smiling Sun' Organic Farm Product Collection and Marketing Network


EAFRD supported Sonnentor, a large-scale organic food retail company, develop an organic food production network, market nationally and internationally products under the "Smiling Sun" logo, while conserving small farm structures and traditions.


Sonnentor is a large-scale organic food retail company aiming to develop a system to produce, collect and market specialist organic farm products which were sourced directly from farmers. The company operates in both national and international markets. Farmers in the Waldviertel region were keen to cooperate and support the initiative but wanted to conserve their small farm structures and traditions.


The main objectives of the project were (i) to increase the income of local organic farms; (ii) to conserve traditions and farm structures in the region; (iii) to develop a marketable brand and set of products that could be collected and distributed by the specialist food retailer Sonnentor; and (iv) to build a franchise system that could potentially extend organic product sales further in new, non-traditional markets.

Main activities

The main activities for achievement of the project objective included: (i) the development of the 'Smiling Sun' brand and logo; (ii) the development and gradual expansion of the organic farm production network; (iii) the development of the product collection system; (iv) the development of a quality assurance system; and (v) the development of the franchise model and system.

Results & Benefits

The project has supported the creation of one of the largest organic food retailing companies in Austria, with approximatley 50% share of the national market, as well as significant sales in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany, with products sold in 35 countries worldwide and 20 or more new products brought to market each year. The company has established over 150 Austrian contractual partners, working on 440 ha of land, supplying high quality organic raw materials and finished products.

Lessons learnt

With well developed producer networks, good quality assurance systems and well targeted branding and overall marketing, organic food production and sales can be highly profitable and sustainable.

Project location and other information

Waldviertel area



RDP Territory


Project website

Contact name



Tel: +43 2875 7256, Fax: +43 2875 7257

Languages for contact


At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Individual farmers, Producer groups, Non-farm or non-forest entreprises, Public/local authorities, Other

Start date:


Theme / Measure:

• Competitiveness of Agriculture & Forestry
• Promoting knowledge and improving human potential
• 111. Vocational training and information actions


Organic farming, Agricultural method, Chicken, Labelling, Marketing

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