Sponsored Post – The fruit processing company VOG Products is the world’s largest producer of organic apple juice, concentrate and purée at one location. This year’s harvest in South Tyrol and Trentino provides outstanding conditions for premium quality and high-value products.
The Trentino-South Tyrol region on the southern side of the Alps looks back at a long tradition of fruit cultivation. With 300 sunny days per year and cool nights, the climate there is ideal. This is reflected in the taste and aroma of the fruit that VOG Products processes and refines.
2021 has proven to be an excellent year for apple quality in South Tyrol and Trentino. The weather conditions are currently optimal for the harvest. During the day, the sun shines down on the apple fields and the cool nights ensure that the colour will be intense. The Gala apples harvested this year are a brilliant red colour that is seldom seen – even the apples from areas where colouring does not easily develop are bright red.
VOG Products, the modern fruit processing company headquartered in Laives, belongs to 4 producers’ organisations from South Tyrol and Trentino and 18 cooperatives from South Tyrol with more than 10,000 members. Most of them are small family operations that care for their apple orchards with love and devotion.
Pioneer in Europe
Agriculture is acknowledged for its great importance throughout the region. After all, dealing with land and its resources respectfully is firmly embedded in the culture there. In this spirit, sustainable production is a matter of course for local fruit growers, many of whom have embraced organic cultivation. “Biosüdtirol and Bio Vinschgau have now become the largest organic producers in Europe,” explained Senior Key Account Manager Martin Bristot, who is responsible for the organic sector at VOG Products.
Organic apples now 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 %.
The figures show a 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 from Laives is now 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: the around 10,000 farmers from the growing area.
Bioland: a guarantee of quality
Top conditions at the location, tightly meshed quality control and traceability back to the farmers are particularly valuable in the organic sector. But VOG Products goes a step farther. “VOG Products is Bioland-certified or rather, a portion of our suppliers provide Bioland goods,” said Bristot. The seal has more stringent guidelines than those laid down in the EU regulation on organic production. “In Germany, the most important market for apple juice, the organic niche is growing: the quantities demanded are increasing significantly,” Bristot added.
“In combination with South Tyrol as the region of origin, these quality aspects are important for many purchasers and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have become even more important.”
Renowned companies in food retailing have also recognised the potential and are jumping onto the organic bandwagon. “They aim to convert a certain percentage of their assortment from conventional to organic. We are primarily observing the trend in Germany, but France, Austria and the Scandinavian countries are all following suit,” explained Bristot. “That is giving the saleable quantities of direct apple juice an enormous boost.” But in the affluent exotic markets in Asia and the US as well, consumers are very aware of 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.
SVZ, a leading supplier of fruit and vegetable ingredients, is set to showcase an exciting new addition to its 100 % natural, sustainably sourced portfolio at FiE 2019. The company will be presenting its core offering of traceable, high-quality fruit and vegetable purees, juices and concentrates, as well as exciting new products, including authentic strawberry and sour cherry chunky purees.
Chunky puree: bringing more bite to fruit puree
As well as sampling delicious healthy honeyberry shots, visitors to SVZ’s stand at FiE 2019 can find out more about the new chunky purees: the latest addition to the company’s premium portfolio. Minimally processed and retaining pieces of real fruit within a rich, high-quality puree, the new chunky range allows dairy, ice cream and dessert producers to create 100 % natural, clean label products that offer the look, taste, and bite of authentic home-made purees. The size of the fruit pieces in new chunky purees can be individually tailored according to the customer requirements, allowing brands to create a unique texture profile. Chunky purees provide a high-quality and easy-to-use NPD ingredients solution that is ideal for transparent packaging and the ‘healthier choice’ products of premium brands.
Delivering 100 % natural, traceable ingredients
SVZ has remained committed to offering the very best in entirely natural, premium food and beverage ingredients. Today, the company’s extensive portfolio has grown to encompass everything from raspberry and haskap berry puree to cucumber and red beet juice. With its long-standing dedication to building supply-chain visibility and working with suppliers to develop more sustainable farming practices, from the very start SVZ has inspired its customers to harness the power of nature and create the healthy, traceable products consumers increasingly demand.
“The launch of new chunky purees not only opens up a host of exciting NPD possibilities for producers, but equally demonstrates our dedication to serving the ever-changing needs of our customers”, comments Johan Cerstiaens, Commercial Director at SVZ. “From healthy reformulation to minimally processed ingredients for a more authentic, ‘home made’ feel, our ingredients are designed to create exciting taste and texture experiences that satisfy the core demands of today’s consumers. Our commitment to achieving 100 % sustainable sourcing by 2030 additionally means our products don’t just look and taste good, but aim to do good as well.”
Stand 6E110, 3 – 5 December 2019, Paris, France
Mexifrutas and ct Finance AG (with its subsidiary Frutco AG) have signed an agreement for close collaboration in various fields.
Mexifrutas is working in the field of processing of tropical fruits in Mexico and Costa Rica. Mexifrutas will open a new factory for banana puree and pineapple juice NFC as well as -concentrate in Costa Rica in early 2020. Mexifrutas main market is North America.
ct Finance AG is managing a group of companies, which are working in the field of farming, farm management, processing and marketing of raw material and retail products. ct Finance AG main market is Europe.
In the first step, Frutco AG as subsidiary of ct Finance AG, will market banana puree of Mexifrutas in Europe and Middle East. Customers who were previously served directly by Mexifrutas will continue to be supported on this journey. In Summer 2020 Frutco will open as well a processing plant for banana puree In Colombia. Both groups have control over large plantations of bananas to fulfill the request of multinational customers to secure resources for them.
For the customers these two origins have a great advantage:
Risk reduction because of Storms, Political issues, Force Majeure
Best Customer Service by language, at place just in time
Both parties have hands on the raw material – security of supply – transparent supply chains and food safety.