VIP, the Val Venosta Cooperatives Association, expects a high-quality harvest of organic apples with average quantities this year. Its variety assortment allows VIP to guarantee the availability of organic apples for 12 months a year.
VIP does not expect a record harvest this year, but average harvest quantities with approximately 40,000 to 44,000 tons of organic quality apples, which corresponds to a minus of about ten percent compared to last year. “Thanks to the ideal microclimate in Val Venosta, the product quality proves to be very good again with apples that have a high shelf life. To date, we have not had any hail damage. Our organic apples have an average fruit size,” says Gerhard Eberhöfer, VIP’s sales manager for organic apples (in the picture). VIP is currently preparing to market the new organic harvest. Organic Gala apples will be available from 25 August 2022 to April 2023, whereas the Minneiska – SweeTango® club variety will be sold from 25 August to mid-October. The range and availability of other organic varieties will then be gradually expanded from the end of September.
After marketing Minneiska – SweeTango®, VIP’s assortment of organic club varieties includes Ambrosia™ from mid-October to mid-January and R201 – Kissabel® in the time in between. The sweet Scilate – envy™ will be available from mid-December to mid-March 2023 and all those who prefer sweet-acidulous apples can choose Nicoter – Kanzi® from January to the end of May. The last variety will be WA38 – Cosmic Crisp®, the newest star of VIP’s organic assortment. This upcoming variety is currently available until June, but will be available until the end of July or beginning of August in the years to come. As a year-round supplier, VIP can guarantee the availability of best organic apples over a period of twelve months in the 2022/23 sales season as well.
Due to increasing organic quantities in Europe, which are both politically desired and promoted by the EU, it should be our common goal to discuss increased sales opportunities together with the trade. In order to be able to sell the growing quantities in the organic segment, we need more visibility and more shelf space. An increased range of varieties with different flavors – be it club varieties or standard varieties – will also be necessary. Consideration should also be given to expanding the offer both in the entry-level price segment of trade class II in bags or in bulk and in the premium segment of trade class I which is ideally available in sustainable and high-quality packaging,” demands Gerhard Eberhöfer.
One of the organic varieties from Val Venosta available all year round is Golden Delicious. Organic Golden Delicious apples of the 2021 harvest will be available until the end of September, followed immediately by those of the 2022 harvest. In addition, a few red and bicolored varieties of the 2021 harvest will also be available until the end of August: Pinova, Jonagold, Idared as well as smaller quantities of Red Delicious.
VIP is considered to be the leader in organic apples in Europe both in terms of quality and quantity. The Val Venosta production area in South Tyrol offers ideal climatic conditions for apple cultivation. About 280 producers in the valley dedicate themselves to organic farming in small-scale family farms. Val Venosta’s organic producers meet the strict guidelines of the Bioland or Demeter associations that go far beyond the legal EU standards for organic cultivation. As a First Class Apple Partner, VIP not only guarantees high-quality products that are grown by its own members only, but also scores with technical innovations in processing and a reliable customer service.
“Respect for the environment and sustainability have always played a very important role in all our processes, from cultivation to marketing,” explains Gerhard Eberhöfer. VIP guarantees the gentle processing and the complete traceability of every single organic apple in its modern organic packaging plant with high packaging capacity. “Our rich assortment includes organic apples for every taste. Thanks to our variety assortment, we are able to supply our customers with organic apples from Val Venosta all year round,” says Eberhöfer.
VIP not only offers high-quality organic products for apple lovers, but also maximum transparency and information. The “BioGraphy“ internet platform in fact allows the consumers to trace which organic producer from Val Venosta has grown the purchased apple with the help of a label on the packaging and offers interesting information about the producer, organic cultivation and the apple varieties available.