In Austria, by far the majority of farms can be identified as family farms as the basis for agricultural production and the supply of public goods subsumed under the term of multi-functionality. Other types of ownership-status like personal communities (natural persons) or legal entities (cooperatives, limited companies) only play a subordinate role.
In comparison, in 2010 the amount of family farms in EU28 came up to 97 %, many of them located in the new member states NMS13 (Davidova et.al. 2013). According to major structural change and in contrast to the other farm types, the table above and the chart show that the number of family farms has severely decreased by nearly 64 % since the early 1950s. Due to the different regional and environmental circumstances, family farms in Austria show a broad spectrum of farm structures and farm strategies. Accordingly, the range extends from small scaled subsistence and semi-subsistence farms, small farms with highly specialized intensive production, as well as medium sized dairy farms in mountainous areas or arable farms, down to big farms cultivating crops for industrial procession and mass markets.