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Germany is the EU leader in the production of milk, pork and potatoes.

The German food system - in the heart of the EU
5.4 million people are employed in the nearly 700,000 companies in the German food industry. 12% of the employed work in the industry. The sector is thus an important branch of the economy. The food industry is predominantly small and medium-sized. Around 90% of employees work in companies with fewer than 250 employees. EIT Food sees it as one of its main tasks to bring innovation, especially in the area of food production and agriculture, to the market more quickly with the help of start-ups and thus to make the food system healthier and more sustainable together with SMEs.

About half of the territory is used for agriculture. German agriculture is very different from region to region. While small businesses predominate in the south, the north and especially the east of Germany are characterized by large structures. Germany is the largest European producer of milk, pork and potatoes. Grains, rapeseed, sugar, beef and eggs also play an important role. In the case of fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, there is little self-sufficiency. Around two thirds of farmers keep animals, with cattle, pigs and poultry being the most common. However, the trend is decreasing and fewer and fewer farmers have animals on their farms. Around 13% of farmers now manage their farms ecologically.

Potential for improvement
German consumers want more animal welfare and environmental protection. Incorporating these desires into food production can be a challenge. EIT Food supports start-ups and innovation in the food sector, thereby driving the transformation of the industry forward.

National project: ACTinEITFood


2020 > 2023
ACTinEITFood is an exciting partnership between EIT Food and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Launched back in 2020, it is supporting the creation and expansion of startups that will help future-proof Germany’s food…

The German beer purity law from 1516 is the oldest food regulation that is still in effect. In 2019 1,548 German breweries brew around 5,000 different varities of beer.

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EIT Food hub for Germany

CLC Central
Gregor-Mendel-Str. 4
Freising 85354

On the blog

More blog articles
regional blog
In this blog, we explore a day in the life of a food photographer who takes photos of different foods for her clients to help them promote their restaurants and menu items.
regional blog
Water is life. Water is nourishment. Water is food. Water is a shared responsibility.

Innovation projects

View all projects
EIT Food is one of the partners of this project funded by the European Commission


2021 > 2023
InformPack explores the cross-cultural variations amongst consumers in terms of awareness, information gaps, issues and attitudes towards food packaging upon purchase and disposal patterns at home and on the go.

Upcoming events


EIT Food at Anuga 2023

October 07, 2023