Gemeinsam mit Partner:innen forscht GLOBAL 2000 an den verschiedensten Projekten rund um Klima- und Umweltschutz. Finden Sie hier Forschungsprojekte zu Pestizidreduktion, Chemikalien in der Umwelt oder einer zukunftsfähigen Landwirtschaft. Kontaktieren Sie uns gerne, wenn Sie Fragen zu den jeweiligen Projekten haben oder mit uns zusammenarbeiten möchten.


ARGE Drahtwurm - Alternativen in der Drahtwurmbekämpfung bei Kartoffeln

Laufzeit: 2016-2020

Fördergeber:innen: LE 14-20 (EU, Bund, Länder)

Partner: Edmund Rauchberger (Erdäpfelhof Rauchberger), Karl Paul (Bauernhof Paul), Paul Votzi, Johannes Mayer (Feldgemüse Mayer), Eduard Paminger (Sauwalderdäpfel), Romed Giner (Giner Gemüse), Erzeugergemeinschaft Bauernerdäpfel Verkaufs GmbH, IGE (Interessensgemeinschaft Erdäpfelbau)

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Claudia Meixner

In Austria, wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles, cause damage of several million Euros per year alone with potatoes. They tunnel into potato tubers, thereby reducing the share of marketable tubers.

The control of wireworms is a major challenge in both conventional and organic farming. In conventional potato production, currently approved insecticides reach their limits of effectiveness when infestation pressure is high. There is also a lack of effective control options in organic potato production.

With the aim of developing and testing effective and practical alternatives to the use of chemical-synthetic pesticides for wireworm control in potatoes, ARGE Drahtwurm was founded, bringing together relevant stakeholders from the fields of agriculture, research and environmental protection. To achieve the project goal, a series of lab and field studies were carried out, the latter in several production areas under common production conditions and in close cooperation with practitioners.

The studies covered the following main topics:

  • the distribution, temporal occurrence and spatial distribution of the agriculturally important wireworm species were surveyed;
  • basic knowledge was acquired on the species-specific virulence of various strains of an insect-pathogenic fungus against wireworm species occurring in Austria - also as affected by environmental factors;
  • the efficiency of alternative, direct control measures against wireworms under field conditions was assessed.


  • Wireworm species have different geographical distribution patterns, and can be divided into species preferring either dry-warm or moist-cool environments. Wireworm activity across arable areas fluctuates considerably throughout the year.
  • Laboratory tests with an insect-pathogenic fungus showed the virulence to depend on fungus strain and wireworm species.
  • In practical experiments, the most promising option to reduce potato tuber damage caused by wireworms was a combination of the application of fungus-colonised barley grains and the establishment of a mixture of wireworm-attracting plants in the potato crop. For practical application, a consistently high quality of fungi preparations must be ensured, and there has to be a sufficient soil humidity.

The results obtained were spread via seminars, information events and mailings especially to potato growing practitioners, and to further stakeholders in the field of agricultural production via publications and conference papers.


A steady reduction of wireworm populations can be achieved by a combination of long-term measures: Crop rotation, humus build-up, targeted soil tillage, promotion of natural antagonists and the use of environmentally compatible means such as insect-pathogenic fungi. To achieve this, the biology of the individual wireworm species must be examined even more extensively.

In the future, great importance will be attributed to forecast models, which can be important bases for decisions on for example the right scheduling of targeted soil tillage measures, but also for other strategies to minimise wireworm damage.


ARGE Larvenzucht - Larvenzucht zur Futtermittelherstellung für Fische, Geflügel und Schweine

Laufzeit: 2018-2021

Fördergeber:innen: LE 14-20 (EU, Bund, Länder)

Partner: Michael Forster (Landwirtschaft Forster), Simon Weinberger (ecofly GmbH), Eva Erhart, Marion Bonell (Bio Forschung Austria), Reinhard Resch, Michael Kropsch, Eduard Zentner (HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein), Franz Lahnsteiner (BA Wasserwirtschaft), Martin Gierus (Universität für Bodenkultur)

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Peter Schweiger

At present, soy from South America and fishmeal are the main feedstuffs used in European livestock farming. These imports lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and cause declines in biodiversity due to the overfishing of the world's oceans and the destruction of rainforests for soybean cultivation. Insect larvae fed on residues and by-products of the agricultural value chain have been discussed to have potential as an alternative protein source in poultry, pig and fish farming. In order to assess the practicability of the production of black soldier fly larvae in Austria and to evaluate its potential, the operational group "ARGE Larvenzucht" (larval farming consortium) was started in 2018.

The following tasks and main topics were considered:

  • basic, practical knowledge on the effects of various substrates on the composition of the larvae was generated;
  • the technical processing of larval protein and larval fat was developed;
  • the material composition and usability of the residual substrate that remains after feeding the larvae was assessed;
  • the actual digestibility of larval protein and larval fat was examined in feeding studies.
  • the presumed environmental benefits of domestically produced larval protein was evaluated.


  • The meal produced from black soldier fly larvae showed potential for use as feed in the livestock sector. The composition of insect larvae differed depending on the substrate used for feeding the larvae.
  • In broiler production, 15 % of soya extraction meal and 100 % of the soya oil in the feed mixture could be replaced by larval protein and larval fat, respectively, with no negative effects on broiler production or health.
  • For use in aquaculture, a promising feed mixture with a replacement of 50 % of the protein from fish meal by larval protein was developed for further testing.
  • Digestibility trial in pigs provided essential information for the determination of a promising experimental feed mixture and showed very good digestibility values of phosphorus.
  • Insect larvae can be conserved by silage if mixed with a suitable carbohydrate source.
  • The residual substrate left over from larval rearing can be used as organic fertiliser.
  • The life cycle assessment showed insect larval meal to be an ecologically more advantageous protein source than soybean meal from South America. The ecological advantages depended however on the production method and were therefore not the same for all larval proteins and larval fats produced in the course of the project. Additionally, the analysis showed a need for improvement in some environmental categories.
  • An economically competitive use was currently identified only for the pet food sector and was predicted to develop earlier for fish (replacement of fish meal) than for poultry and pigs (replacement of soybean meal). The production volume of larvae would first have to be expanded worldwide for large-scale use.

The results obtained were disseminated to the main target group, primarily conventional and organic poultry farms. Additionally, results were spread in the scientific community and, for the purpose of acceptance of larval feeding, in the general population.


In the project, the practicability of the production of black soldier fly larvae on suitable substrates in Austria could be confirmed. Certain extents of the soy meal and oil usually used in broiler feed mixtures can be replaced by protein and fat from the insect larvae. Preliminary trials also showed considerable potential for the incorporation of insect larval protein and fat in pig and fish diets. For insect larval protein to be ecologically advantageous compared to soy protein, care has to be taken in the selection of production parameters such as feed substrate for the larvae and energy sources used.


ARGE Nützlingsblühstreifen

Laufzeit: 2019-2022

Fördergeber:innen: LE 14-20 (EU, Bund, Länder)

Partner: 4 landwirtschaftliche Betriebe: Chamber of Agriculture Upper Austria, Research Institute for Organic Farming (FiBL), Raumberg-Gumpenstein Research & Development, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) & Deutsche Saatveredelung AG (DSV)

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Claudia Meixner

Infection of legumes with the Pea necrotic yellow dwarf virus (PNYDV), which is transmitted by aphids, leads to dwarfing and low pod set especially at an early stage, and may even cause total loss. Control by organic pesticides is reaching its limits, and in conventional cultivation the effectiveness of chemical-synthetic agents is decreasing due to increasing resistance. The increased cultivation risk often causes farms to reduce the acreage under legumes, which are, however, valuable components of the crop rotation. Field beans in particular improve the soil structure with their deep roots, accumulate nitrogen and are also a valuable source of protein with a relatively high yield potential. Although it has been scientifically proven that adapted flower strips and undersown crops can have a positive effect on biodiversity and reduce aphid infestation, there are still many reservations among farmers and advisors, especially with regard to economic efficiency. The EIP-AGRI project was therefore very practice-oriented and was run specifically with agricultural benefits in mind.

The main objective of the project - in addition to improving agrobiodiversity - was to demonstrate the potential added value of tailored flower strips and undersowings to safeguard Austrian field bean production. Further objectives were the identification of an effective and economically acceptable composition of flower strips/undersowings and the reduction of aphid and nanovirus infestation in crops and thus the avoidance and minimization of insecticide spraying for aphid control. Another aim of the project was to build up know-how and increase the acceptance of tailored flower strips among farmers. The project's target group included both farms and advisors, who were ideally to be convinced of the functional and economic benefits of flower strips and undersown crops through the project results.


The establishment and management of the flower strips and undersowings were successful. With regard to aphid antagonists, a tendency towards higher and more diverse populations was recorded in the flowering strip and undersown variant. Likewise, the beneficials were able to contain the aphid populations over time. However, the effect did not occur in the critical phase of nanovirus infections or in the critical growth stage of field bean. Nevertheless, significantly fewer nanovirus infections were found in the flowering strip and undersown variant.

In the undersown variant, the better area coverage and the higher plant species spectrum could have caused a "masking" of the host plant or acted as a mechanical barrier and/or the undersowing could have changed the properties of the host plant and the microclimate.

Furthermore, defensive olfactory or repellent influences could have caused fewer aphids to fly into the stand. These factors could have caused a suppression of nanovirus infections at the beginning of plant development. Further studies are necessary to confirm these hypotheses. Likewise, the project was able to disprove the fear of attracting field bean pests through the flowering strips and to demonstrate the high potential of flowering strips in providing alternative living and feeding space in the cultivated landscape. From an economic point of view, the flowering strip and undersowing variants performed worse than the no-tillage variant.


Flower strips have great potential and an important function in providing alternative habitats and food for beneficial insects in the cultivated landscape. Aphid antagonists, which are attracted by undersown crops and flower strips, can contribute to aphid control in field bean cultivation and thus reduce infestation with nanoviruses. Even if, from an economic point of view, a large part of the additional costs of these variants are relativized over time and also with regard to the subsequent crops, support measures are nevertheless important in order to increase acceptance and implementation in practice. In addition, the medium and long-term positive effects of flower strips and undersown crops should be considered holistically and included in an economic analysis in order to demonstrate their actual value and benefits for agriculture and the environment in general.



LIFE ChemBee

Laufzeit: 2022–2026 

Fördergeber:innen: EU LIFE, Wiener Umweltanwaltschaft

Partner: Coordinating institution: BEF Germany

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Dr. Waltraud Novak

A new EU project detoxifies Europe’s households

Hazardous substances can be found in many household-products, for example in kitchen utensils, furniture, toys, cosmetics, cleaning agents, and so on. Products containing substances like phthalates, flame retardants or preservatives can amount to more than 100 in a single household. However, the awareness about these substances is generally low. Politicians and lobbyists are discussing legal issues, but they often lag behind the introduction of new chemicals to the market. The LIFE ChemBee project will empower consumers instead. Awareness raising works as a first step towards minimising the use of products containing hazardous substances and changing behaviour.

The project ChemBee builds on the experience of the previous EU-funded projects, enhancing their approaches with replication in nine EU countries and including approaches for Turkish and Arabic speaking communities. The project will raise awareness at household and office manager level ofthe problem of hazardous substances and show them how this problem can be addressed. Campaigns and trainings of private consumers and office managers will be carried out to induce behavioural change. Volunteers (chemical ambassadors) will be trained to implement so called household-checks in households, while public administrators will receive training on how to detoxify office spaces and make them safer. The goal of the project is to train as many chemical ambassadors as possible and to ensure replication and continuation after the project, with a view to ultimately reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals to a low level.

Expected results:

  • Training of 2 300 volunteer ‘chemical ambassadors’, who will ‘swarm’ like bees to check 43 000 households;
  • Training of 210 inhouse eco-supporters in 37 city administrations, leading to the detoxification of 2 900 offices;
  • Abandonment of 20 detergents and cosmetics per household;
  • Reduction in the number of hygiene and cleaning products from 50 to 25 per household;
  • Reduction in the number of plastic articles by half per household;
  • Communication to producers, retailers and regulators to change towards toxic-free solutions; and
  • Promotion of the app Scan4Chem, which was developed by the project LIFE AskREACH to support purchasing decisions and to send messages of concern to suppliers, thus pressuring them to implement the REACH Regulation on hazardous chemicals by checking their products and supply chains for such substances, informing customers and substituting hazardous substances.




Laufzeit: 2017-2023

Fördergeber:innen: EU LIFE, Austrian Ministry for Climate, Austrian Ministry for Health and Consumer protection

Partner: Coordinating institution: UBA Germany

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Claudia Meixner

LIFE AskREACH helps consumers and companies to apply the “Right to Know” about substances of very high concern in consumer goods.

LIFE AskREACH is a five-year project funded by the EU LIFE programm. Under the coordination of the German Environment Agency, 20 partner organisations in 13 EU member states are cooperating to make the REACH consumer rights more widely known, which is laid down in the European Chemicals Regulation. As part of the project, a smartphone app (named "Scan4Chem" in most countries) was developed which allows consumers to scan the barcodes of articles to see if they contain SVHCs, or to send REACH consumer requests directly to companies.

The project also worked with companies to make it easier for them to respond to SVHC requests. The project offers a database so that companies can upload information about their articles for faster responses and companies are supported in order to ease communications along the supply chain. The Scan4Chem app can be downloaded for free in the app stores.

The project LIFE AskREACH aims at:

  • raising consumer awareness about substances of very high concern (SVHC) in articles
  • enabling consumers to make responsible purchasing decisions
  • raising supplier awareness of their obligation to comply with REACH information duties
  • improving the information flow on SVHC between consumers and suppliers
  • improving supply chain communication processes with the aim of substituting SVHC with safer alternatives



Alternative Methoden zur Reduktion von hormonell wirksamen Pestiziden im Obst- und Gemüsebau

Laufzeit: 2015-2018

Fördergeber:innen: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)

Partner: REWE International AG, Obst Partner Steiermark GmbH, Geißlmayr Obst und Gemüse G.m.b.H., biohelp G.m.b.H., Gemüsebau Schön, Gemüsebau Sieburg, Obstweb – Karl Schloffer, EG Oberinntalobst, Institut Dr. Wagner

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Dominik Linhard

Some of the pesticides used in Austrian fruit and vegetable production are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The use of these hormonally active pesticides can cause health problems for farm workers and consumers. Besides, the application of EDCs has negative impacts on the environment. Therefore GLOBAL 2000 initiated a project on the reduction of EDC use, supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). The project was launched in March 2015 and was successfully completed in June 2018.

A) Lettuce

Over three years 13 field trials were conducted and several alternative plant protection products were tested. In most of the trials the use of EDCs was completely avoided. Good results were achieved controlling Rhizoctonia solani with the antanogist Trichoderma. Downy mildew (Bremia lactucae) could be well controlled by the use of mildew tolerant varieties and the agent „Alginure M“. However, some of the tested alternatives showed little to no effect on the pathogens.

Together with the Austrian Institut of Technology (AIT) virulent Rhizoctonia anastomosis groups were identified on lettuce.

B) Apple

In a total of 12 field trials different plant protection strategies were successfully developed without the endocrine disrupting pesticides Chlorpyrifos, Mancozeb and Captan. The alternatives used were esp. Lime sulfur and Vitisan (potassium hydrogen carbonate), as well as copper in some cases. The applications of the agents were aligned with the predictions of the forecast model RIMPRO. The trials were supervised on site by Karl Schloffer (Obstweb). Additional field trials were carried out at the experimental station for Fruit and Viticulture in Haidegg.

As a very effective method of postharvest treatment, with great potential for reducing near-harvest pesticide spraying, proved to be the hot water shower (HWS). The efficiency of HWS against the storage rot Gloeosporium was >80%, making the method absolutely competitive with pesticide use. An effect against storage scab was also found. HWS is an effective method to specifically replace Captan, a fungicide commonly used for the control of storage rot which is regularly detected as a residue on apples. HWS treatment was optimized for the following varieties: Gala, Golden Delicious, Topaz, Pinova, Evelina, Braeburn, Rubinette and Jonagold.

Together with the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the mechanism of action of the hot water treatment and enzymes and other molecules involved in the apple's immune response were examined.


Further results on alternative plant protection methods for lettuce:

Ökologische Pflanzenschutzkonzepte für den österreichischen Kräuter- und Zierpflanzenbau

Laufzeit: 2020-2023

Fördergeber:innen: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)

Partner: bellaflora Gartencenter GmbH, pro aqua Diamantelektroden Produktion GmbH, biohelp GmbH, Multikraft Produktions- und HandeslgmbH, AGROsolution GmbH & Co KG, Institut Dr. Wagner

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Dominik Linhard

In order to meet the requirements of consumers, a large number of synthetic-chemical pesticides are used in the cultivation of ornamental plants and herbs, which not only have a negative impact on the environment, but can also be a health risk for producers and florists. As part of the research project all pesticide products authorised in Austria for the cultivation of herbs and ornamentals were evaluated for their environmental impact and an Ecotox-Catalog with all the pesticide was developed and is now available to the horticultural sector. Besides ecological alternatives with low ecotoxicological impacts were tested in the field. The results of several field trials showed that specific biological plant protection products can have a high efficacy against phytopathogenic diseases and pests and that treatments with Microorganisms and other plant strengthening agents were able to reduce infestation pressure.

Analyses of pesticide residues showed that ornamental plants are regularly contaminated with multiple pesticides, even plants labelled as “bee-friendly” and that imported seedlings and young plants are often contaminated with multiple pesticides, including susbtances that are not approved in the EU.

Reports: Pesticides on bee friendly plants:

Pestizidrichtlinien für Zierpflanzen

Seit: 2017

Ansprechperson GLOBAL 2000: Dominik Linhard

Pesticides (active substances) used in plant protection products can have negative impact on non-target organisms, soil, water and on the environment in general. They are transported by wind and water over long distances and certain substances, depending on their chemical properties, can be detected in the environment for a long time.

Therefore GLOBAL 2000 developed an assessment system to evaluate the environmental toxicity of pesticides used inhorticulture. It identifies pesticides with high adverse effects on the environment and potential risks to human health.The assessment is based on an index which describes the impact on the environment and enables a quick and clear classification of specific pesticides. The EI is a number between 0 and 1 for each active substance. The closer the value is to 1 the more negative is the environmental impact of the pesticide.

Based on the Ecotox-Index GLOBAL 2000 compiled a Catalog of pesticides relevant to european horticulture and developed pesticide guidelines for ornamental plants. The guidelinesinclude a treshold for the sum of the pesticide load on plants, a Negativ-List with prohibited substances and a Watchlist with specifically monitored pesticides. A goal is to give gardeners a tool to check whether their plant protection strategies are conform with required guidelines or not. Furthermore Garden centres and other retailers can check their plants and evaluate pesticide residues as part of their quality management. The assessment system enables a long-term monitoring with comparable data.

Together with the company bellaflora we implemented the pesticide guidelines for ornamental plants in Austria and have extended it to Germany with the garden centre Pflanzen-Kölle and toom Baumarkt in Germany.

PRP – Pestizidreduktionsprogramm

Seit: 2003

Partner: REWE International AG

Ansprechperson bei GLOBAL 2000: Laté Lawson

WHY? Pesticide Reduction Program GLOBAL 2000

Fruit and vegetables should nowadays not only look beautiful and be kept for weeks, but also be available all year round. As a result, conventional agriculture is increasingly dependent on mineral fertilizers and chemically synthesized pesticides, which endanger the health of farm workers, destroy biodiversity and pollute habitats and our foods.

Nine from ten fruits samples and six from ten vegetables samples are contaminated by pesticides. Two or more pesticides are found on every second sample.

In order to reduce pesticide exposure on fresh fruits and vegetables, GLOBAL2000 developed the Pesticide Reduction Program (PRP) in 2002. The latter has been implemented since 2003 in collaboration with BILLA and since 2006 also with BILLA PLUS (formerly MERKUR) and PENNY, three supermarkets of REWE International AG.


The objectives of the PRP are, on the one hand, to increase the safety of consumers by reducing the residue load on fresh fruit and vegetables and, on the other hand, to protect the environment by reducing the use of pesticides in the production. This is achieved through targeted controls, but also through measures such as the promotion of alternative plant protection methods.

HOW WE WORK? The four pillars

1. Standards

PRP applies own upper limits for pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. These are usually stricter than the legal maximum values. ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) values are The calculation of the PRP upper limits and the sum of exposure are based on the ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) values. The latter are defined by internationally recognized bodies for each active substance and represent a measure of its chronic health hazard. As an exception, the PRP upper limits for hormonal active pesticides (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, EDCs) are set lower, on the basis of a minimization approach due to the particularly high hazard potential. Further, the PRP evaluates samples the acute reference dose (ARfD) and the legal maximum levels (MRL) accordingly.

2. Controlling

Risk-oriented samplings are carried out weekly through the entire fresh fruit and vegetable assortments of REWE, to verify compliance with the required residue limits. Over 1500 samples are taken per year.

The result of each pesticide residue analysis is communicated to the supplier. Depending on the type of exceedance, measures are taken ranging from increased sampling to banning or delisting of the product.

3. Commodity management

The cooperation with suppliers, producers and agricultural technicians plays an important role in our Pesticide Reduction Program. Potential ways for reducing residue loads and pesticide uses are discussed and developed together with suppliers. Approaches of solutions range from substitution of problematic substances, implementation of alternative methods, field experiments or large scale applied projects.

4. Awareness raising & Transparency

Raising awareness and educating consumers are other strengths of our program. Consumers should be well informed in order to make wise purchasing decisions. BILLA is the only supermarket chain in the world to weekly publish all its pesticide residue results on its website. A simple traffic light system shows whether a product had to be blocked or is under observation due to an exceedance.

Once a year, all analysis results of the REWE pesticides residues monitoring are statistically evaluated and presented in detail in the "Status report on chemical plant protection".


The PRP is an ongoing project, a stepwise program. Every new step means at least one new challenge. At the moment the reduction of EDCs, which affects a wide range of fruits and vegetables from different provenances, is our main endeavor.

Here are few examples from the past:

All started with peppers from Spain, with pesticide residues much higher than the legal upper limits allowed. Today producers across Europe produce their peppers, tomatoes and eggplants, with beneficial insects instead of insecticides.

In 2003, the insecticide Chlorpyrifos could be detected in 80% of apples from Austria delivered to REWE. In 2017, the pesticide was no longer found on a single apple. One reason for this is the use of environmentally friendly pest control methods against the pest codling moth.

Regarding table grapes from Italy, the average of pesticide load could be halved by 2011 and has remained at a low level since then. This is a result of a intense cooperation with the producers.

Through workshops with suppliers of potato toREWE, use and residues of the grow regulator Chlorpropham could be greatly reduced in recent years, way before expiration of its EU approval.

Long before the EU has banned Dimethoat, a powerful insecticide against the cherry fruit fly and also highly toxic to humans, the Austrian REWE producers have already replaced it with other, less toxic products.