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Markus Schraff, Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebsgesellschaft

Organic fruit from Lake Constance: top quality pome fruit and a bigger yield for organic apples

Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebsgesellschaft (OvB) can report positive figures from the organic harvest this year, says Markus Schraff, Sales Manager of the Organic Division of OvB.

Markus Schraff and Larissa Lorch from Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebsgesellschaft (OvB) and Hans-Josef Stärk from BayWa Obst  & Co at the OvB stand at the Biofach trade fair 2022.

Successful season start with SweeTango® and Santana Bio
"We started marketing the new apple crop with the high-quality varieties SweeTango® and Santana in week 35. Both are very attractive varieties that were eagerly awaited by consumers after the marketing of German organic apples had ended in June. This allowed for a successful start to the season."

Good weather, optimal fruit size and coloration
Harvest at Lake Constance started about 10 days earlier than usual, Schraff said. "We had a fairly early bloom at Lake Constance, and excellent conditions. This meant lots of sunshine and some rain every now and then. These weather conditions ensured a good cell division phase, so the apples were of optimal size and they were very tasty. At the beginning of the harvest, the temperature differences between day and night, which are important for a beautiful coloration, were still too small. This changed with the cooler nights in the last two weeks, which provided excellent coloration of the fruit. Overall, the quality of the main varieties harvested so far -Santana, Elstar, Topaz and Jonagold- is very good. Boskoop and KANZI® in organic quality are also excellent. In the coming days, the Pinova, Natyra® and Braeburn varieties will then reach their optimal harvest time."

Due to last year's smaller harvest, marketing of German organic apples already ended in June. Although it is not yet possible to guarantee a year-round supply of local organic apples from Lake Constance, the company expects a good market supply well into the summer of 2023, due to a larger yield. OvB's organic products are exclusively association products, i.e. certified according to Bioland, Naturland or Demeter standards.

Image: OvB

Annual increase in cultivation area of 2-5 percent
"Apart from minor fluctuations, a continuous increase in demand is emerging in the organic market. This is accompanied by a 2-5 percent annual increase in the acreage of our organic producers. The share of organic land at Lake Constance is currently around 20 percent," says Schraff.

Organic pear harvest reduced by 50 percent due to frost
At the new packing station at the organic fruit wholesale market in Ravensburg, there is now also a special packing and sorting machine for the organic pears. However, in contrast to the good organic apple crop, this harvest has dropped by 50 percent due to the cooler weather conditions at the time the pears were blossoming. "In the medium term, we foresee a growth trend for our organic pears due to new plantings, primarily regarding the Migo® and Xenia® varieties."

Summer fruit
The extensive organic range also includes summer fruits such as sweet cherries from protected cultivation, as well as plums. The cultivation of organic strawberries, partly also from protected cultivation, and currants will be further expanded after extensive variety trials.

Image: OvB

Cardboard instead of plastic, nets instead of bags
"In recent years, the packaging trend has clearly moved away from plastic. We offer almost only cardboard trays without film. Cellulose nets have also become established as an alternative to bags. The disadvantage of nets, however, is that little information about the product can be communicated due to the smaller advertising space, which is why bags continue to be marketed."

Cooperation between OvB and BayWa - organic production out of conviction
"OvB's goal is to bundle the goods of its three shareholders (BayWa Obst & Co, Vebo Frucht as well as VOG Ingelheim) for marketing to food retailers, creating the best possible conditions for successful marketing. BayWa provides us with a modern packing station at its exclusive organic fruit wholesale market in Ravensburg. At this location, all organic goods produced at Lake Constance are sorted and packed. The organic fruit is delivered mainly by Württembergische Obstgenossenschaft Raiffeisen, which is affiliated with BayWa Obst Ltd, but also with farms of the second cooperative located at Lake Constance. This is Marktgemeinschaft Bodenseeobst, which cooperates with Vebo-Frucht," says Schraff.

Image: OvB

"All 40 organic farms produce goods according to the Bioland, Naturland or Demeter guidelines. We are proud of the fact that in the approximately 25 years of marketing organic fruit from Lake Constance, no producer has yet turned away from organic production. Numerous projects by various producers underline the great initiatives aimed at nature conservation and sustainable management."

For more information:
Markus Schraff
OBST VOM BODENSEE Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH
Merkurstraße 7
88046 Friedrichshafen
Tel.: +49 (0) 75 41 / 970 28 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 75 41 / 970 28 - 51 

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