The fruit processing company VOG Products is the world’s largest producer of organic apple juice, concentrate and purée at one location. Alongside its Bioland certification, the company recently received Bio Suisse certification.

High organic production standards, tightly meshed quality control and traceability right back to the farmers are particularly valuable in the organic sector. These criteria are also important for VOG Products, the processing company. The producers’ organisation from South Tyrol has acquired another certificate for its organic products: Bio Suisse, alongside the EU organic seal and Bioland partnership. The Bio Suisse umbrella organisation is the largest organic organisation in Switzerland and in addition to the criteria mentioned above, focuses on developing organic agriculture in Switzerland.

Like Bioland certification, the label has more stringent guidelines for cultivation and processing than those laid down in the EU regulation on organic production. “It guarantees a high organic production standard that corresponds to the standards of VOG Products,” said Christoph Tappeiner, the CEO of VOG Products.

The modern fruit processing company headquartered in Laives belongs to 4 producers’ organisations from South Tyrol and Trentino plus 18 cooperatives from South Tyrol with a total of around 10,000 members. Most of the members are small family operations that care for their apple orchards with love and devotion.

2021 harvest promises top quality

The Trentino-South Tyrol region on the southern side of the Alps looks back on a long fruit-growing tradition: with 300 sunny days per year and cool nights, the climate is ideal. This is reflected in the taste and aroma of the fruit processed by VOG Products.

2021 in particular is proving to be an outstanding year for apple quality in South Tyrol and Trentino. The current weather conditions are optimal for the harvest: the Mediterranean sun shines across the fruit orchards during they day and cool nights ensure a brilliant colour. The Gala apples in this year’s harvest are a more brilliant red than in most years – even in locations where apple colour does not typically achieve a high level of intensity.

“Agriculture is acknowledged for its great importance throughout the region. After all, dealing with land and its resources respectfully is firmly embedded in the farming methods there. In this spirit, sustainable production is a matter of course for local fruit growers, many of whom have embraced organic cultivation,” explained Tappeiner.

Pioneer in Europe

Biosüdtirol and Bio Vinschgau are now the largest organic producers in Europe and organic apples make up around 10% of the total harvest in South Tyrol. Despite frosty nights in the spring, the official harvest forecasts indicate that the organic proportion in South Tyrol will remain constant in 2021. As compared to the previous year, in Trentino organically cultivated apples should record growth of around 20%.

In the organic sector, the figures show a clear trend: in three years, the quantity of organic raw goods delivered to VOG Products has more than trebled. As a result, the fruit processing company has become the world’s largest producer of organic apple juice, concentrate and purée at one location. VOG Products continues to source its organic goods exclusively from its members’ members – in other words, from the Trentino-South Tyrol region.