The agri-food sector was given remarkable amounts of funding by all German federal states in the framework of the Measure g ‘Improving Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products’ within the rural development programs. Based on literature and data we obtained by evaluating this program we identified some indicators representative for illustration of sustainable development, Apart from project data we used the official statistics and the method of case studies. Via selected indicators we received some signs of sustainable development in enterprises of the agri-food industry that also influence the development of rural area. Some statements are restricted because net effects can not be determined. The need for subsidies is discussed as well as possibilities and limits of case studies.