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EcoVadis Silver for VOG ProductsSponsored Post – VOG Products attaches the utmost importance to sustainability, quality and product safety along the entire supply and production chain. This is also evidenced by the EcoVadis silver medal and SGF membership.

The sustainable and careful use of resources runs through the entire production process at VOG Products – from field to processing, particularly since the South Tyrol fruit processing company is closely linked through its members to regional farming, which is based on a long tradition of growing fruit.

EcoVadis Silver for VOG Products
Christoph Tappeiner (Photo: VOG Products)

“We know where the raw materials come from and which production steps they have gone through. This traceability to the source and comprehensive quality controls along the entire production line are key prerequisites for creating safe, sustainable, high-quality products”, Christoph Tappeiner, CEO of VOG Products, emphasises.

VOG Products belongs to three producers’ organisations from South Tyrol and Trentino, plus 18 cooperatives from South Tyrol. The membership comprises around 6,000 small, family-run operations: fruit-growers who tend their orchards with passion and devotion.

The entire supply chain is involved

Sustainability is firmly embedded in VOG Products’ strategy and is actively implemented throughout the production process. This was also recently confirmed by EcoVadis, the world’s most reliable provider of sustainability ratings for global supply chains, which rewarded the efforts of VOG Products with a silver medal. The silver status means that VOG Products is among the top 25 per cent of all companies rated. The EcoVadis rating looks at environmental aspects, as well as employment and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement.

Criteria that also play an essential role for VOG Products as an SGF-certified member. “SGF” stands for the fruit juice industry’s “Sure – Global – Fair” industrial self-regulation, which has established in this a voluntary control system (VCS) for all the production and trading stages of its products. In other words, the quality, safety, authenticity and sustainability of juices, fruit nectars, and other products made from fruit are controlled on the global market and action is taken against food fraud. This is how SGF guarantees fair competition and compliance with legal and industrial quality and safety standards.

The control system includes factory inspections as well as checks on semi-finished and finished products throughout the entire supply chain. Specifically, this means that the suppliers are also included. They are subject to checks on hygiene, traceability and documentation, for instance, and they adopt the Code of Conduct, which regulates environmental and social aspects.

VOG Products are represented on the SGF Executive Committee by their CEO, Christoph Tappeiner.

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Premium juices: VOG Products with new direct juice and intake lineVOG Products has always relied on premium quality. The new NFC juice line blends seamlessly into the quality strategy of the modern fruit processing company headquartered in Laives, in the Trentino-South Tyrol (Italy) region.

Premium juices: VOG Products with new direct juice and intake line
Christoph Tappeiner (Photo: VOG Products)

As a pioneer in the premium juice segment, VOG Products continuously invests in new technologies in order to attain even higher quality standards. The most recent example is the NFC juice line, which was commissioned this year. “Even better juices resulting from more careful processing – this is VOG Products’ strategy for success,” said Christoph Tappeiner, CEO of VOG Products.

The new intake line can receive up to 150 tonnes of fruit per hour and transports the raw goods very carefully. “The apples are transported dry and not in water. We use sails to prevent them from falling from great heights. Instead, they roll towards the processing line,” Tappeiner explained. “This results in fewer bruises or damaged spots – and excellent raw goods are the indispensable basis for a safe, high-quality end product.”

Not least due to its dry transport technology, the system also features low water consumption. “We constantly think through our processes critically in order to conserve resources and work sustainably,” said Tappeiner.

After all, VOG Products is closely connected to Trentino-South Tyrol, a region with a long tradition of agriculture that prizes handling the land and its resources with respect and a view to the future. Today, the fruit processing company belongs to 4 producer organisations from South Tyrol and Trentino and 18 cooperatives with more than 10,000 members, most of which are small family operations that care for their apple orchards with love and devotion.

The belt press: a mark of quality

After the apples are washed, pre-sorted, and cut up, the belt press is essential for juice extraction. “The belt press yields high-quality premium juice that is particularly rich in vitamins and features a long shelf life and more appealing colouration, among other properties.”

VOG Products ensures that the juice’s quality and turbidity are consistently in line with consumer wishes. In the separator (centrifuge), solid material and starches are removed from the juice with high efficiency and 100 % automation – exactly to the extent that meets the specified quality standards.

VOG Products is orientated to its customers’ individual requirements in all respects. Direct juice from VOG Products is also available by type and in organic quality.

The careful handling of raw goods and top-quality standards are priorities at VOG Products. To continue upholding these standards in future, the company has made significant investments in the modernisation of its production lines.

Each year, VOG Products processes and refines around 300,000 tonnes of raw goods. On the one hand, the fruit processing company established in 1967 builds upon the long fruit-growing tradition in the heart of the Dolomite Alps. That tradition is embraced and maintained by a total of 13,000 members who belong to 18 cooperatives in South Tyrol and Trentino and 4 producer organisations. On the other hand, VOG Products also consciously relies on innovation and advanced development – particularly when it comes to technical equipment.

In March 2020, two new production lines for fruit purée were commissioned on the 8-hectare company premises in Laives. They represent a significant portion of VOG Products’ concrete modernisation and development plan.

A fully automated plant for aseptic filling marked the beginning in May 2019. That was a key step in the effort to satisfy rising demand and at the same time, to bring the infrastructure up to date with the latest technology.

In September 2019, a new optical sorting system was installed in the low-temperature area. It guarantees maximum precision and quality to customers and ultimately, consumers.

The purée production modernisation completed in 2020 is the centrepiece of the extensive investment strategy, but not its final measure: by the beginning of 2021, the production line for fruit juice will also have been renewed. “That will mark our achievement of the fourth and last step of our current infrastructure modernisation strategy. Innovation and advanced development are and will remain major themes at VOG Products, however, because they are essential to our effort to continue satisfying the market’s increasingly rigorous requirements in future while meeting top quality standards”, said Christoph Tappeiner, CEO of VOG Products.

The commissioning of the two production lines for fruit purée was a key step in that direction. It increased the company’s capacity and VOG Products now has two separate lines, which happens to be a decisive characteristic for product safety in the processing of organic goods. And now the raw goods are inspected by the optical sorting system to guarantee the highest quality standards in the purée segment as well.

Further, raw goods are not handled in bulk at VOG Products. Instead, large boxes with a maximum mass of 300 kg are used exclusively. “After all: you need excellent raw goods to produce an excellent end product. Our 13,000 members – most of which are small family-run enterprises – ensure our excellent quality. They cultivate fruit with lots of passion, and we continue its processing in the same spirit: as much care as possible when handling the product and top quality standards are our main priorities. Our new, functional plants equipped with state-of-the-art technology fit perfectly into this philosophy,” confirmed Tappeiner.

Sponsored Post

VOG Products: Where sustainability is embraced at the highest levelVOG Products, the modern, innovative fruit processing company in Trentino-South Tyrol, has set new standards for sustainability. The company fully satisfies the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Sustainability Assessment and has earned the Gold Standard.

VOG Products was established in South Tyrol – Südtirol in 1967 – in the heart of the Dolomites, a region with a long tradition of orcharding. Using the land and its resources respectfully and sustainably has always been part of our corporate culture. There are good reasons why the Trentino-South Tyrol region regularly ranks at the top in nationwide comparisons when it comes to quality of life.

Today, VOG Products comprise 18 South Tyrolean and Trentino cooperatives and four producers’ organisations with more than 13,000 members. Most of them are small family-run enterprises that passionately and sustainably manage a total of 28,000 hectares of cultivated land.

Their commitment to sustainability has also been certified in accordance with the highest possible standard since June 2020. In May, VOG Products successfully completed the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Sustainability Assessment (GGFSA) with an audit by the CSQA certifying institution. At the first go, VOG Products earned the highest sustainability category: Gold.

With this achievement, VOG Products has set new standards in the fruit processing sector. More than 300,000 tonnes of raw goods from 13,000 enterprises are processed and refined on the eight-hectare premises in Laives year after year, and the fact that they all fully satisfy the highest standards is simply unique.

With the GGFSA, the global SAI platform (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) has joined up with GLOBALG.A.P to offer an innovative solution based on the GLOBALG.A.P. standards for crops. It unites all the FSA sustainability requirements in one compact, verifiable standard, making it easier for distributors and producers to procure safe, sustainable products transparently and more efficiently. The certificate is awarded in three performance categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

VOG Products: Where sustainability is embraced at the highest level
Johannes Runggaldier (l), Chairman of VOG Products & Christoph Tappeiner (r), General Manager

“We are quite pleased that our many years of commitment have now been recognised with the FSA Gold label,” explained Johannes Runggaldier, the Chairman of VOG Products. “Sustainability is not a superficial label. Instead, it reaches right down to the roots of our production chain. One of the factors that safeguards it is traceability from the end product to the farmer.”

“That is our guarantee to our customer and ultimately, consumers,” added General Manager Christoph Tappeiner. “We actively embrace sustainability as part of our corporate culture and as such, further develop it with a view toward the future challenges and requirements in the market.”

Social criteria play as much of a role when it comes to sustainability as respect for nature and the products, as do the use of state-of-the-art safety systems and technology.

For example, VOG Products has a photovoltaic system with a power output of 998 kWp. It is used to generate electricity, hot water, and steam in conjunction with a cogeneration plant. Annually, around 8,230,000 kWh electricity and 3,070,000 kWh heat are generated. Further, its waste water is used in the nearest water treatment plant to generate gas and electricity, and production waste is delivered to various biogas plants to be used a source of energy.

VOG Products is an innovative company specialising in the processing of apples and other fruit. It is owned by 18 cooperatives in South Tyrol and Trentino and four producers’ organisations comprising over 13,000 family-run enterprises. Every year, VOG Products process more than 300,000 tonnes of raw goods to create healthy, safe products for the international market.