The shared sustainability plan for the South Tyrol – Südtirol apple segment is now underway
Consisting of three action areas and a binding schedule, it is designed to effectively and systematically pursue sustainability. Following a multi-year process, South Tyrolean fruit growing has developed a strategic concept called sustainapple.
The project involved the VOG Consortium together with numerous organisations from the fruit-growing sector in South Tyrol. “The search for a balance between ecology and economy, innovation and tradition, economic sustainability and social sustainability has always been central to our work,” remarked Georg Kössler, Chairman of VOG and the South Tyrolean Apple Consortium, when presenting the strategy, which was developed in consultation with experienced sustainability experts Alfred Strigl and Sylvia Brenzel.
The sustainapple project, which incorporates the 17 goals for the sustainable development of the planet (the so-called SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals) set by the United Nations, is divided into three main action areas: “The South Tyrolean Apple as a global success model”, “We promote healthy eating” and “In partnership with nature”. These areas are in turn organised into sub-areas with action plans that will be implemented following a precise schedule. A wooden toolbox will be distributed to all trade professionals in the near future. It will contain all the important information about the current sustainability situation in South Tyrol’s fruit-growing industry, all the measures that will be jointly implemented in the coming years, information on the various sectors and work documents such as the sustainability self-assessment.
“It is a project that highlights the sustainable approach that the South Tyrolean apple-growing sector has been pursuing for some time,” commented Walter Pardatscher, CEO of VOG. “It is a useful tool that indicates the way forward. Our Consortium’s decisions have long been guided by the concept of sustainability. All the apples are grown using either integrated production or organic farming. 47% of the electricity used for apple storage is self-generated by the cooperatives and comes from photovoltaic plants.
About the VOG Consortium
Founded in 1945, the Consortium of South Tyrolean Fruit Growers’ Co-operatives, headquartered at Terlano (Bolzano) is one of Europe’s biggest apple producers. Today, VOG consists of 12 co-operatives of more than 4600 family farms tending 11,000 hectares of apple orchards (92% using integrated pest management, 8% organic) in the provinces of Merano, Bolzano and Bressanone and the South Tyrolean Unterland. Average annual output is around 500 thousand tonnes, with turnover exceeding 450 million Euros. VOG markets its more than 30 varieties of apples in 65 countries worldwide and is a member of leading Variety Growers’ Clubs. It holds GLOBAL G.A.P., AGRIOS, IFS and ISO 9001:2015 certifications.