UA Enterprises

WERKHOF Projekt GmbH

  1. SHORT DESCRIPTION: Werkhof, is a cooperative located in the Northeast of the city of Dortmund, about 10 km from the city center. Werkhof combines commercial profit-oriented organic horticulture production and marketing with social purposes especially social care and education. The farms’ social care started already 30 years ago in 1983 and is focused on young people facing problems on the regular labour market. Four full-time employees (social workers, horticultural experts, marketing experts, etc.) and four volunteers are working on the farm. The whole farm and farmland is leased on the long-term from the municipality of Dortmund.
  2. KEY ACTIVITIES: The organic horticulture farm cultivates five hectares following Demeter certification. Less than one hectare is cultivated in greenhouses. About 40 kinds of vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, and seedlings are produced, processed and marketed. Direct marketing is conducted on the farm in a shop, on weekly markets in Dortmund and Unna, as well as by delivery service of vegetable boxes. About 1,000 vegetable boxes are delivered straight to the customers in and around Dortmund every week. Social care services are mainly oriented towards young people, who face problems on the labour market. The agricultural work in production, processing and marketing helps the young people to stabilize their everyday life. The young people are working on the farm in the regular horticultural work, but also in processing, packaging and marketing the vegetables and seedlings.
  3. RELEVANT DIMENSION: Direct marketing (delivery service, farm shop), social farming (vocational preparation young people), peri-urban, specialized horticulture, biodynamic (Demeter) production, open field/greenhouses.
  4. BUSINESS MODELS: Product differentiation (niche markets); enterprise diversification (multifunctional agriculture)