Since 1991, the town of Vaterstetten located East of Munich offers agricultural businesses a community farming program developed by ECOZEPT. It includes the support of marginal areas, sowing in bee meadows and wild grazing areas and marketing assistance for organically grown products. The goal is to promote the extensive use of space through a financial compensation for all participating farmers while still offering the largest number of farmers the possiblity to participate in the program. The community program, however, should in no way act as a replacement, but rather an augmentation to government subsidized programs (such as the Bavarian Cultural Landscape Program or the Bavarian Contractual Conservation Program).
This active community has other plans as well. During a question and answer session with the farmers, ECOZEPT introduced the community farming program and addressed the farmers' suggestions. Since 2002, an annual conservation prize is awarded to honor the farmers' engagement in environmental matters. In addition, we seek to support interested farmers in their direct sales efforts - for instance, through a walker's guide map in which direct sales businesses are listed.