BIregO eG, Harenzhofen, Germany


In recent years, one trend has stood out in the food industry – the ever-increasing demand for regional, organic and sustainable products. On average, the share of organic food in Germany is around 7% – an increase of around three percentage points within the last ten years, and something that reflects the way market is changing across the world.

The district of Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Bavaria, has been at the forefront of this transformation for almost a decade. In 2014, a working group on organic threshed crops was formed, with a wide range of producers, processors and retailers in the region later joining together to form a cooperative – the Bio-regionale Genossenschaft Oberpfalz, or BIregO eG for short. This has since grown from just over 60 to more than 200 members, all of whom have one thing in common: “We want to expand organic farming and strengthen value chains here in the region,” says Markus Schenk, Chairman of the BIregO eG board.

From vision to reality

One major challenge, however, has been the search for a suitable storage location for the grain. This is because a grain store for organic food has completely different requirements to a conventional store – in addition to the large variance in grain types there are often smaller yields and usually higher stocking requirements for the products. “Wheat, barley, malting barley, rye, spelt, oats, soybeans, sunflowers, millet and much more – we have a huge variety, but that is also a huge challenge,” Schenk confirms.

The important thing is to have a vision – and that’s what we have.

Markus Schenk, Chairman, BIregO e.G.

The network started renting warehouse in nearby Thalmässing in 2017, but it was soon apparent that the cooperative needed its own grain storage facility with preparation and drying, and sufficient silo cells to store the different crops appropriately.

In its search for a partner, the cooperative was in contact with a range of suppliers before approaching Bühler. “We realized that Bühler wanted to do this project with us,“ Schenk recounts. “We presented our plan, and they used their expertise to help develop it into a well-rounded concept. A company is only as good as its people – and you could feel that the project team was on fire for our plant project.” The construction phase started in August 2019, with the plant completed in 2022.


“Our project is already known far beyond the state’s borders,“ says Schenk. “It’s unique and a beacon project for all those who aspire to a similar concept.“ Looking to the future, he sees great potential in ecological and sustainable agriculture.

Even though the grain plant is still new, he‘s already considering the next steps together with the cooperative members: fine processing, or thermally recycling grain trimmings to create a sustainable energy source for heating the grain drying system are just a couple of the many ideas the team are now considering.

It’s important for us to develop the project together with Bühler in the future I’m convinced that we are on the right track here – we can only pursue it together.

Markus Schenk, Chairman, BIregO e.G.


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