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Bio-Wiesenmilch

Place: austria, Europe
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 500.000,00 | Period: From January 2013 To

Summary

Orcanic Meadow Milk is an innovation in the production of organic milk. The focus on natural pasture for the cows as central element of the project is not only ecologically but also economically vital. Ressource efficiency, animal welfare and biodiversity are the three pilars the project is based on. These measures are put into practice  through 7 features that all producers of Organic Meadow Milk have to comply with. The system guarantees highest product as well as process quality. The continuous development of the farms participating in the project is an essential part of the regulation.

Partnership

Kärntnermilch reg.Gen.m.b.H. - Austria

Lead applicant

Single source supplier of the white and yellow range in the conventional sector and in the organic sector. Specialist in the production of lactose-free products. White range: fresh milk, ESL milk, sour milk products, yoghurts, sour cream, cream (fresh and ESL), kitchen products such as mascarpone, crème fraîche, butter, curd cheese, drink yoghurts, fruit whey drinks, desserts Yellow range: semi-hard cheese, hard cheese, naturally ripened hard and semi-hard cheese, cheese specialities such as e.g. cheese with added ingredients Gastronomy: large packs for fine cuisine

Höhere Bundeslehr- und Forschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft Raumberg-Gumpenstein - Austria

Initiative partner

rent a bee rab GmbH - Austria

Initiative partner

Rent a bee offers fully-supported rental of beehives.

Bio Austria - Austria

Initiative partner

More than 14.000 Austrian organic farmers have joined together to form BIO AUSTIRA in order to realize their common interests in agriculture and market policy. Backed-up by more than 100 experts and staff, the association is represented and operating in all 9 Austrian provinces. BIO AUSTRIA's organic farmers contribute to the protection of climate, environment and animals. They are committed to GMO free agriculture, ensure sustainable ecological production via whole farm conversation and voluntarily self-impose strictest production requirements that go beyond the EU Organic Regulation. The result: food quality at its best! BIO AUSTRIA's organic network exceeds the Austrian frontiers.

Orcanic meadow Milk - thoroughly natural

Innovation in organic agriculture has to happen at grass-roots level: ideas have to come from the farmers themselves. Focussing on pasture feeding and maximising the time cows spend on the meadow, the production of Bio-Wiesenmilch (organic meadow milk) is highly resource efficient, animal friendly and best for maintaining biodiversity. This ist ensured by complying with the revolutionary regulation-system of Bio-Wiesenmilch, which was developed from farmers and researchers together and which is put on top of the EU organic regulation. Farmers of this project recieve higher finalcial compensation for the specially produced milk (Bio-Wiesenmich) they deliver, not only because it is of special quality, but also because they contribute with their knowledge and motivation to the innovation process.

Cows should naturally spend a lot of time on the meadow and eat fresh grass. Nowadays many intensively producing farmers minimize their efforts, by keeping cows in the stable rather than in the nature for most of the time. Furthermore, the percentage of grain fed to the cows is continuously increasing. This happens because grain contains a high amount of protein and enhances the cows' milk production. This is problematic though, because the cows bodies are not supposed to digest a lot of this kind of fodder.

Additionally, meadows are as well the natural habitat for many small animals. If those areas disappear, a huge part of the ecosystem is being destroyed, which affects of course the whole agricultural production because of the recycling ecosystem.

Last but not least, the high demand of grain for animal feeding is competing globally with the demand of grain for human nutrition. Feeding the cattle worldwide more fresh and conservated grass again can support the fight against famine.

Milk production according to the highest organic standards is done on currently more than 200 farms in Austria, involving changes and development of the farms e.g. reactivation of meadows etc.

Long-term partnerships with 3 main food distributers in the Austrian market are supporting the project, also the export business for Bio-Wiesenmilch has started. Dairy products in special product and process quality have started to be sold in a large area very quickly.

The establishment of the quality sign/brand "Bio-Wiesenmilch" on the market is improving the perception of value created through this special farming systems.

The appearance of the quality sign "Bio Austria" on many new products in the market is improving its recognition among end consumers and putting tforward he whole movement of organic farming.

Bio Austria: improvement of refunding of organic husbandry in dairy production at farmer's level, contribution to innovations in agricultures from the base (farmers), further spreading the idea of organic farming in Austria and across boarders

Kärntnermich: differentiation on the market, focus on organic milk production, development of special product innovation, improvement of processing, development of long-term partnerships with food distributors

Rent a bee: long term partnership for business, development to organic standard in beekeeping

LFZ Raumberg-Gumpenstein: putting into practice the results of years of research on efficiency in cattle feeding

Head of Bio-Wiesenmilch: Rudolf Vierbauch (chairman of Bio Austria, farmer, member of the board of directors of Kärntnermilch)

Project manager: Doris Fröhlich (project management, budgeting, planning, coordination, fundraising, marketing)

Staff in Kärntnermilch (representation on fairs, management of advertisements, product development and processing, collection of milk, packaging, distribution)

Consultant for farmers: Johanna Grojer (consultation of farmers, assistance  in marketing activities)

 

Some of the most difficult discussions were to convince all partners of the necessity that farmers have to receive price-premiums for the special quality of milk they are producing. Also to make the innovation and development ideas of the farmers accepted was the crucial task in the beginning and not all partners were easily convinced.

Furthermore, as financial means are scarce, the  project is being financed by the European Union and also with national finalcial resources. In order to comply with their conditions the project has to be extended from the starting region to farmers all over Austria, which will be the next milestone of the project. The main focus is motivating many farmers for participation in the project and finding further partners for milk collection and processing to enlarge the radius of Bio-Wiesenmilch production.

The project promotes and develops organic dairy production which is resource efficient, animal friendly and enhancing biodiversity by reducing the amount of grain in the cows pasture and maximising the amount of time for the cows on the meadow. The products are GMO-free, processed with special care and especially high in nutritients of high value.

This project is bringing the standard "organic" to the next level of sustainability, enlarging  it's environmental protection impact. It enables farmers to develop the idea of organic farming and challenges processors in the life cycle of the product to improve their sustainability standards in all areas. This project broadens the demand for sustainability of every organic product.

Bio-Wiesenmilch has the vision to improve the whole life cycle of organic dairy products, which involves further changes not only in farming and processing, but also packaging, transportation etc. This will be the focus for further development of the project.

Bio-Wiesenmilch was created to change the perception of food production, especially organic food production in consumers minds. Through marketing campaing that explains the importance of interdependencies in the ecosystem and it's funcion as a whole, understanding the need for more sustainability in food production has to be reached. The project of Bio-Wiesenmilch is only an example for this, but it can contribute changing the mindset of consumers, which is relevant for all areas of life wherever humans are interfering with the surrounding nature. Especially nowadays, as we realise that resources are scarce and need to be treated more carefully, this is crucial for a sustainable future development.

The organisation of Bio-Wiesenmilch is eager to spread their idea and to focus marketing activities on broadening consumers' understanding for a greater meaning of sustainability and for extensive meaning of the quality specification "organic". The first broad campaign was the "Kuhmarathon" (cow marathon) launched this summer that reached more than 10.000 consumers.