This paper deals with biodiversity conservation by economic activities in the food and nutrition sector. A case study about the growing and marketing of the wheat species Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) in the region Schaffhausen analyses necessary success factors for the development of similar regional economic activities. Such success factors are the involved regional production capabilities, entrepreneurship, market strategy and third party support for the project. The case shows that for instance success in product and market development is dependent from subsidies and from political and societal support. The case allows to draw the following conclusions for policy: ■ the early steps of project development require broad support, ■ a biodiversity friendly agriculture is dependent on subsidies, ■ the existence and functioning of regional primary and secondary production structures is necessary and has to be maintained.