German and Luxembourg fruit growers working together for 10 years

Germany/Luxembourg - the idea to join fruit growers from Germany and Luxembourg into a selling organisation turned out to be brilliant. The awareness for regional products of the best quality has been highlighted by the customers. "Without this cooperation my company would not exist," Stefan Samson, fruit grower from the German town of Merzkirchen, says. He started ten years ago with half a hectare of apple trees and now controls nine hectare. "Success at that time was definitely not automatic," his partner Fernand Hilgert from Kehlen in Luxembourg adds. 
 
It is the balance of ten years of cooperation of four Luxembourg fruit growers, fruit growing association Steinsel from Heisdorf in Germany and four producers from the German federal state Rhineland-Pfalz. Recently they celebrated their successful cooperation in the viticulture museum Ehnen (Luxembourg). Under trade name
'Eist Uebst - Us Uebscht' the production was increased from 80 to 500 tons of fruit and vegetables. "We started with 46 HA and at the moment grow fruit on 100 HA" producer Andreas Loebke says.
 
"The idea was already suggested in 1995 during the 100-year anniversary of the Luxembourg fruit growing association," Leon Wietor, director of the Luxembourg Agricultural Management, remembers. The basis for the association was placed in 2001 as a result of a feasibility study by marketing company 'Co Concept'. 
 
"Regional products are no longer niche products today," guest speaker of honour Romain Schneider, the Luxembourg minister of agriculture said during the festivities.
"This fruit has earned the success," Andreas Loebke adds. "As there is no intermediate trade and no long transport distances we are in a position to compete in price with China. Also the fruit does not need to be harvested unnecessarily early. It can ripen for a much longer period and as a result is of extraordinary quality."
 

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