The ABCs of sustainability
The South Tyrolean apple sector’s sustainable development strategy

The ABCs of sustainability

The South Tyrolean fruit sector has years of experience dealing with the many topics that have now been united under the banner of sustainability. Our activities have always been influenced in different ways by attempts to balance innovation and tradition, ecology and economy, and social equity and economic success, all while ensuring that everyone enjoys a fair and just share of this success. Though it is impossible to say exactly when agriculture and fruit growing specifically began addressing sustainability, we can pinpoint the precise moment at which the formal integration and organised development of our sustainapple sustainability strategy began. In autumn 2019, a large heterogeneous group of internal and external stakeholders was formed in order to systematically work on the programme and generate content concerning sustainability-related topics.

Are we doing well?

Stand at 16.06.2024

Concept phase
Detailed planning
First action area

The South Tyrolean Apple as a global success model

The first of the three major action areas within our sustainapple strategy addresses the economising, professionalism and innovative capacity of our services. It also leads us to consider the strengths of our structures and assess our previous achievements. This is in response to a fact that cropped up repeatedly while we were developing our strategy and served as a welcome surprise: external observers, namely experts located beyond the borders of our province, view South Tyrolean agriculture, fruit growing and apple growing as a pioneering model of innovation, professionalism and sustainability.

A large number of practical and research excursions have visited South Tyrol to view our model companies and to profit from our expertise in wine, fruit and apple growing. On top of this, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has designated us as a model Learning and Innovation Network for Sustainable Agriculture (LINSA). We have therefore decided to dedicate the first action area to this fact, with the objective of doing justice to the traditions and achievements of previous generations. Our shared structures represent a wonderful legacy handed down by hard-working, smart and equitable farming communities and cooperatives.

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Target 1.1

Taking pride in the South Tyrolean model of structural sustainability

Target 1.2

Pioneering a supra-regional circular economy

Target 1.3

Using our innovative strength for the future

Second action area

We promote healthy eating

The second major action area of our sustainapple strategy focuses on high-quality food as well as efforts to preserve people’s health and vitality. Providing a high-quality sustainable food supply and boosting health throughout society are a pair of key objectives within the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations – and serve as two of our core goals.

Fruit and apples have not only enlivened the human diet for centuries, they have also been proven to boost health and vitality. Best of all, our apple-growing operations see people work to benefit others while enjoying fair conditions, social equity and a share in our success. 100 per cent of our apples come from the family-run farms that represent the heart of South Tyrolean fruit growing.

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Target 2.1

Providing high-quality sustainable food

Target 2.2

Our apples boost health and vitality

Target 2.3

Farming families at the heart of fruit growing

Third action area

In partnership with nature

The classic conception of sustainability originally stems from agriculture and forestry. We can only use natural resources in a way that ensures they can continue to feed us over the long term. This is known in economics as ‘living off the interest’, meaning that your funds are not continually being drained.

To put it another way, you can only take so much wood from the forest as will grow back in the same period. Our partnership with nature is focused on conservation and cooperation, forming the crux of the third major action area in our sustainapple strategy. This also includes the core aspects of climate, environment, resource, soil, water and species protection, all of which encourage us to treat every living thing with care and respect.

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Target 3.1

Our mission: climate-neutral fruit growing

Target 3.2

Plant health in partnership with nature

Target 3.3

Our legacy: a nature-conscious approach


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