In 2002, the cooperative Bioalpin was founded by courageous Tyrolean Organic farmers and processors of organic products. This was a milestone for organic farming on its development from a “hobby for eccentrics“ to a successful and sustainable form of food production.
MPREIS and Bioalpin have been successfully cooperating for five years in the marketing of Tyrolean organic products under the brand name “BIO vom BERG“. This is one of the reasons why MPREIS has developed into the largest provider of regional organic products in Tyrol. Top quality from local producers is the guiding principle. The high demands of organic farmers to their own products and the strict standards of production guarantee this high level of quality.
However, BIO vom BERG is more than that, emphasizes Heinz Gstir, chairman of the cooperative and active organic farmer: “Organic production alone is not enough, the origin of the products is also important. Customers who opt for BIO vom BERG products have the guarantee of buying locally produced food, contribute to securing the survival of mountain farming in Tyrol and help avoid unnecessary transit traffic.” This is an opportunity for consumers to participate in the fight against climate change.
Everybody benefits from the success of BIO vom BERG products on the marketplace. Alpine organic farmers find reliable partners in MPREIS and Bioalpin for marketing their products. Consumers are able to buy fresh, first-class organic products at MPREIS throughout the year.
BIO vom BERG offers a wide range of products. Excellent organic milk, delicious yoghurts and numerous tasty cheeses contributed to the reputation of this brand. Other very popular products include the Organic Rindersaftschinken (“juicy beef ham“) and the savoury Organic Farmer’s Ham. And with the start of the vegetable season MPREIS will once again offer 20 varieties of organic vegetables produced by Tyrolean farmers.
“BIO vom BERG makes the best Tyrolean mountain farming products directly available to consumers – at the MPREIS store around the corner!“, that’s how Bioalpin director Björn Rasmus puts it concisely. “Organic quality, short transport routes, available at every MPREIS market – that’s what makes BIO vom BERG so popular.“
Of course, BIO vom BERG products are permanently and consistently controlled to ensure that they meet the stringent criteria for organic produce.
“Organic products are subject to the strictest criteria of food control in Europe“, believes Joachim Astl, managing director of the consortium BIO AUSTRIA Tirol. Tyrolean organic products are actually checked three times before they teach the consumer’s shopping cart:
Independent monitoring institutions check every organic farm in Tyrol at least once a year without prior announcement. These controls make sure that the farm adheres to the BIO AUSTRIA guidelines and the strict directives for organic farming of the European Union. Organic farmers are not allowed to use synthetic fertilizers nor pesticides. All material purchases of the farm and the entire inventory are examined. Samples are taken from plants and other products for analysis.
The farmers must keep detailed written records of their livestock’s diseases. Antibiotics are only allowed in extreme cases. Sufficient surface area must be provided for livestock both indoors in stables and outdoors. All regulations concerning organic animal husbandry must be observed. Animal food is also controlled and must comply with strict standards. The inspectors check the accurate labelling of organic products and compare the records of incoming and outgoing goods.
Organic processors buy raw materials of organic farmers and process them to produce their products. In the case of BIOvomBERG these processors are, for instance, Tyrolean organic butchers or Tyrolean organic dairies. These businesses are also controlled once a year without prior announcement. Controls include the declaration of the final products and tracking the products after they leave the processor. Organic dairies are not allowed to use any additives, for instance in organic cheese. So-called processing directives regulate which substances are permitted in organic products. Incoming and outgoing goods of organic dairies and butchers are strictly monitored. This is the only way to make sure that the amount of organic products sold is not higher than the amount bought.
Independent monitoring organizations control organic products in retail at least once a year. The stocks of organic products must be documented and are subjected to a so-called goods flow analysis to make sure that the maximum amount of organic products sold does not exceed the amount of products bought. All portioning must be documented. All products must be accurately labelled to make sure that the consumer is able to clearly identify organic products.