BOLZANO, July 2022 – There is a place where you can find the best apples for every need and meet the most competent representatives, capable of putting the best value on local origin and who are committed to a sustainable agenda for future generations. This is Home of apples, the new VOG Consortium concept unveiled today to the press and trade professionals.
Home of apples represents the present and future of the Consortium. There are four elements that make up the structure of the new Home of apples: origin, expertise, sustainability, products and brands. These four assets that have always been at the core of VOG’s ethos, now take on a new dimension, as was illustrated during the digital event held today.
“Our Consortium has been a driving force for innovation and development in South Tyrolean fruit- growing for more than 75 years,” said VOG Chairman Georg Kössler. “From 1945 to today, we have faced many challenges and changes, but we have never shied away from them and have always improved our organisation to meet new market demands. Today I am proud to present a new chapter in our history, a concept that looks to the future to be even more successful in providing value to our members, our partners and our entire organisation.”
CEO Walter Pardatscher also hailed this turning point from the stage of the live event, which was moderated by VOG PR Manager Sabine Oberhollenzer. “Today we are celebrating a new page in our history and opening the doors to our home that is made up of competence, trust, leadership and quality. With our 550,000 tonnes of harvest per year and with a presence in 75 markets worldwide, VOG is a respected benchmark for the entire sector. Thanks to Home of apples we are putting our way of working into a system and emphasising this important market positioning in a project that includes our entire supply chain”.
Origin is the first element of the new concept. With altitudes ranging from 200 to 1000 metres, every apple finds its ideal home in South Tyrol – Südtirol. A wide temperature range between day and night and 300 days of sunshine per year create perfect ripening conditions, while the soil with a low clay content, but rich in sand, favours the development of apple tree roots.
“In our area, the Alpine climate meets the Mediterranean climate, creating the perfect conditions for the production of premium apples,” explained CEO Pardatscher. “Farmers have been caring for the land and their orchards here for generations, choosing the varieties best suited to the different altitudes and soils. This alliance between man and nature has made South Tyrol a true cradle of apples, renowned and appreciated all over the world”.
Home of apples’ second element is expertise. A proficiency that starts with the 4,600 farmers, passes through the 12 cooperatives and reaches the sales, quality control, administration, logistics, marketing and PR departments.
“More than 10,000 hands work on a daily basis to bring the best apples to the table all over the world,” said VOG Sales Manager Klaus Hölzl. “These hands are all united by a desire to cooperate in order to develop and share skills: from our growers, who unite generations-old know-how with the drive to update and introduce new techniques, to the cooperatives that guarantee quality, safety and traceability, to our marketing team, where we devise innovative strategies and offer an efficient, flexible and punctual service. This is how we create value for our fruit growers, customers and all our partners, right up to the end consumer”.
Sustainability is the third asset of the VOG system. Environmental sustainability, but also economic and social, as quality control manager Kathrin Pirchstaller explains: “Our apples are a resource for the whole region and for our children, which is why it is essential to protect our environmental resources as well as ensuring the productivity and value of the harvest. That’s why, together with other members of the South Tyrolean apple-growing industry, we have set up the sustainapple project: in addition to promoting environmentally friendly practices, we use innovation and state-of- the-art technology to make sure that the supply chain remains healthy for decades to come.”
Products and brands are the remaining elements that make up the mosaic of Home of apples. From the Marlene® brand, through Pink Lady®, Kanzi®, envy™ and yello®, JazzTM and SweeTango®, to new generation apples such as RedPop®, Giga® and Cosmic Crisp® and organic varieties and brands, VOG’s range offers the right apple for every need all year round.
“Faced with ever increasing market diversification, our Consortium has had the foresight to develop a programme of varieties that today allows us to be among the category leaders for apples. Added to this is a production that accounts for about one third of the Italian harvest and 6% of the European harvest,” VOG’s marketing manager Hannes Tauber explains. “In our house there will therefore always be the certainty of finding the right apple, but also the experts who can assist customers in their choice and in building an attractive and high-quality range at the point of sale at any time of the year.”
Origin, expertise, sustainability, products and brands are therefore the strengths which VOG, Home of apples takes to the markets in the new apple season, providing a point of reference for all those involved with apples, worldwide.
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.