The Consortium is aiming to broaden its audience of buyers with new strategies and projects to support a growing sector. Planned initiatives include participation in dedicated trade shows
For more than thirty years, organic farming has been an integral part of VOG’s development projects: a growing segment that is becoming increasingly important every year.
Currently, the Consortium’s organic apples account for around 10% of total production and will ensure that this year’s sales will continue for 12 months, guaranteeing continuous apple production and quality. This year’s harvest is very high-quality and fruit size is average compared to the last few years.
“This season’s production is estimated at 32,000 tonnes of table apples, with agreements already in place with the various distributors,” comments Klaus Hölzl, VOG Sales Manager. “The markets have reacted well and sales have been strong since the start of the new season, which allows us to plan our activities with confidence.”
“Our farmers are constantly committed: we have 300 farmer members who give their best every day to offer high-quality apples to those who choose organic,” comments Werner Castiglioni, CEO of Biosüdtirol, the VOG cooperative entirely dedicated to organic production. “For VOG it is a mission, a passion and a source of great pride that every day we can offer consumers genuine, natural fruit that respects both the environment and the people who grow it.”
Varietal innovation, which is central to the VOG Consortium’s development policies, also contributes to the development of organic farming. RedPop® and Giga® for example, two of the newly introduced apples, are naturally resistant to scab and therefore very suitable for organic cultivation; they are in fact also available in organic versions. The Bio Marlene® and Biosüdtirol brands now have a loyal audience and are in line with the integrated pest management products that comprise the Consortium’s full range. Organic production of envy™, Kanzi® and Pink Lady® apples is also increasing.
Investments in organic farming aim to develop new opportunities for VOG farmers. “Our commitment now also translates into communication strategies aimed at boosting demand,” comments Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the VOG Consortium. “We aim to directly involve end consumers who, although interested in organic products, do not yet buy them. We believe there is still a large market segment to be conquered.”
One of the strategies implemented to promote the purchase of organic apples is the participation of the VOG Consortium’s Biosüdtirol cooperative in three organic trade shows. The first, Biolife, was held in Bolzano from 5 to 7 November and saw the cooperative participate in partnership with Bioland. Farmer members were also present at the stand, providing information about apples and organic farming. The second is B/Open in Verona on 9 and 10 November: aimed at Italian and foreign trade professionals, it is the first live edition following the restrictions due to the pandemic. Finally, for the third time Biosüdtirol is returning to the Nordic Organic Food Fair, which will take place in Malmö on 17 and 18 November. The trade show is a perfect opportunity to cover the Scandinavian markets, in particular Sweden and Denmark.