We are Val Venosta’s organic producers! Nice to meet you!
Bio Val Venosta apples present their producers with the innovative „BioGraphy“ project
All our apples have a name.
Enter the world of biography.vip.coop
„The conversion to organic agriculture is the most important challenge I’ve mastered,“ says Leonhard Wellenzohn, organic apple producer in Val Venosta, South Tyrol. His Huterhof farm at the entrance of Silandro, Val Venosta’s main place, has been in the same family for 150 years. Leonhard Wellenzohn grows Golden Delicious, Gala, Pinova, Red Delicious, Braeburn and Topaz apples. He converted to organic production in 1994 and was one of the organic pioneers in Val Venosta. Organic was quite unusual back then and organic producers were sometimes ridiculed. But the more Leonhard Wellenzohn thought about organic production the more he wanted to convert – even if it was not without risk and raised many questions. Organic producers couldn’t draw on much experience back then: „At the beginning, there were about 15 farmers in Val Venosta who were interested in organic production. We tried out several things, we achieved successes and suffered setbacks,“ says Leonhard looking back to those times twenty years ago. Today, he is certain that he made the right move because he himself can feel the positive effect of organic on people. „Harvest time in autumn is like receiving a school report which describes what went well and where there is room for improvement,” says Leonhard. Meanwhile, Leonhard does not only produce organic apples but also presses his own organic wine.
BioGraphy: Stories and faces behind our organic products
Meanwhile, there are about 150 organic producers in Val Venosta who comply with both the directives of the European Union and the cultivation guidelines of the „Bioland“ or „Demeter“ associations. The annual harvest equals more than 25,000 tons of organic apples. Val Venosta has thus become one of the most important European producers of organic apples in terms of both quantity and quality. But who are these organic producers and what are the particularities of Val Venosta as a production area? How are apples produced and what do you have to bear in mind? VI.P’s innovative „BioGraphy“ project was born in times when clients require complete traceability of products and transparency in the production processes: It is a unique initiative that does not only present the product itself and its origin but also its processing and the persons behind it.
Complete traceability from the orchard to the shelf
But how does BioGraphy work? You can find a label with the name of the farmer who has produced your apples on all packaging of Bio Val Venosta apples. If you go to biography.vip.coop and insert the farmer’s name in the appropriate field, you will learn everything about your organic producer: He or she will briefly tell you about his or her life and why he or she decided to convert to organic. A picture gallery gives you insights into the work on the farm and in the orchards and you can see the exact position of the farm on an interactive map. Organic vegetable producers have recently also been integrated into the project. Their products enrich the website and show the visitor Val Venosta’s product variety. Furthermore, the BioGraphy wall allows you to discover all our organic producers: Any other stories you would like to read? Any other farmers you would like to get to know? Just click!
Information about production methods and production area
But BioGraphy is much more than just biographies of our organic producers. The website awaits you with many interesting information about organic production and the area of origin: What is important when planting an apple tree? How can you protect trees from pests in organic production? And what influence does the full moon have on the apple harvest? In short videos, Val Venosta’s organic producers explain their work in the apple orchards, tell you little secrets and inform you about how sustainable organic production works during the year: from frost irrigation in spring to mowing in summer and harvesting in autumn. An exciting journey of discovery through the world of organic with many useful information for the consumer.
The BioGraphy project got very positive feedback on the different markets during the last years. Both consumers and retail chains attribute added value to this initiative: After all, it’s becoming more and more important for food producers to show where their products come from. Bio Val Venosta has so far been the only apple producer who can show its consumers the name of the organic producer on each packaging so that they know who has produced their apples. Learning about his or her motivations and getting a small insight into his or her life – this arouses interest. And so you can also read Leonhard Wellenzohn’s story on the BioGraphy website who thinks that „organic should be accessible to everybody“.