At Fruit Logistica in Berlin from 5-7 February, the VOG Consortium will announce a series of innovative actions to improve sustainability in organic growing
The South Tyrol - Südtirol apple growers' Consortium, with its more than 4,600 members and 12 cooperatives, will be presenting several green innovations to protecting the landscape and safeguarding the ecosystem.
The important measures relate to packaging. To demand from a number of customers, during the next few weeks it will be introducing 100 per cent compostable clear fruit bags. The GMO-free certified eco-bags are made from sugar-cane and thistle and sunflower seed oils. They, therefore, meet all European requirements for home composting and break down within 180 days. The biodegradable bags, able to contain from 750g to a kilo of apples, and will initially be launched on the market by Biosüdtirol, the VOG organic cooperative at the state-of-the-art in sourcing environment-friendly solutions.
“These two new types of innovative packaging, which we will be previewing at Fruit Logistica, exemplify the VOG Consortium's commitment to sustainability," declared VOG CEO Walter Pardatscher.
“We have always focused strongly on the needs of the environment we live in. It is worth mentioning, for example, the photovoltaic plants installed at all our cooperatives, our investments in organic production, and the cardboard foodtainers presented during the last few months, which are already a success.”
In fact, after the trial phase in recent months, the project involving all-cardboard trays for 4/6 apples is fully operational. This new packaging line aims to produce foodtainers that do not require plastic stretch film. This idea has been developed by Biosüdtirol and has received a very positive reception, to the extent that lines for packaging apples in these sustainable packagings will be installed at other VOG cooperatives in the next few months.
Clean energy for environmental sustainability
Also on the subject of the commitment to environmental sustainability, it should be underlined that all Consortium cooperatives have photovoltaic plants. The data speak for themselves: the total surface area on the roofs producing solar energy is 65,938 sq m, equivalent to 10 football fields. Photovoltaic power output is 8,505,088 kWh. Overall, this 100 per cent green source provides 30 per cent of all the Consortium's electricity.
Investments in organic production continue
A further 170 ha of organic apple production will be added in the 2020/2021 season, to allow the demand for this product to be covered all year round, including with new, better-keeping varieties. Moreover, the trees planted in recent years are bearing more and more fruit. Therefore, in the second part of this season the range will already be expanded with particularly tasty fruit with a long shelf life: Bonita, Natyra and Story Inored.