Riad Beladi ISN editor talks to VOG General Director Walter Pardatscher.

  • VOG apple emerged as a prominent brand renowned among both retailers and consumers for its exceptional quality and commitment to sustainability. Fresh produce buyers are urged to consider the VOG apple for its recognised reputation and assurance of premium quality and sustainable practices, making it a top choice in the market.


ISN editor interview

  • • 1 Can you provide an overview of Vog Apples and what sets your company apart in the competitive apple market? 

VOG is the Home of apples, the place where you can find the biggest apple experts and the perfect range to meet your needs. It is a concept that embraces our apple farmers, our research and development work, storage, processing and marketing. All these aspects of the supply chain are vertically integrated to guarantee high levels of efficiency, flexibility and quality control. 

But the concept also goes beyond our internal structure to include the market, our customers, our partners and the end consumer with the aim of optimising dialogue and maximising value for all players in the supply chain.

With over 4000 apple farmer partners and an output of around 550,000 tonnes of apples a year – 30,000 of which organic – we are able to guarantee the availability of a wide range of excellent apples all year round.

Our range consists of around 30 varieties which we export to over 75 countries. From our Marlene® brand to much-loved apples like Pink Lady®, Kanzi®, envy™ and yello®, through to innovative products that are able to attract new consumers, like Giga®, RedPop® and Cosmic Crisp®, as well as Joya®, Crimson Snow® and Sweetango™.

  • 2 What specific qualities or characteristics do Vog Apples possess that make them unique or desirable compared to other apple varieties? 

First and foremost, VOG apples are grown by over 4000 passionate and expert farmers in the South Tyrol – Südtirol area of Italy. This region represents the perfect cross between the Alpine and Mediterranean climates with over 300 days of sunshine a year and significant temperature differences between day and night, the ideal conditions for growing juicy, flavoursome and incredibly fragrant apples. The altitude of between 200 and 1000 metres above sea level enables each of the varieties to find the ideal microclimate and soil to express their qualities to the full.

In addition to this, every apple has its own distinctive identity which sets it apart from all of the others in terms of value, image and moments of consumption. This way, consumers can find the apple which best suits their needs and which is most in line with their lifestyle. Our range is therefore able to enrich points of sale with brands and attractive propositions and offer consumers a choice of products that is guaranteed to satisfy their requirements.

The other key factor is availability: thanks to our innovation and variety planning work, we are able to offer a wide range of excellent quality apples all year round.

  • 3 Could you elaborate on VOG Apples’ sustainability practices and how they contribute to both environmental conservation and the quality of your product? 

Sustainability – together with our origins and expertise – is one of the cornerstones of the strategy of VOG – Home of apples, an issue that shapes our choices and vision and represents our positioning on the market. The Consortium has an all-encompassing concept of sustainability that not only embraces the environment but also farmers’ economic stability and the area’s social fabric. 

Whether they have chosen to use integrated production or organic farming methods, our apple farmers have a sustainable and long-term vision geared towards leaving the next generation successful farming businesses and healthy and fertile soils. For this reason they respect stringent regulations regarding the use of plant protection products and promote the use of natural methods to protect their apple orchards, encouraging biodiversity and using useful insects like bees and many others.

The focus on innovation and continuous updating also produces solutions that make production processes more efficient and sustainable for the environment. One such example is drip irrigation, a system which makes it possible to give the trees just the amount of water they need, resulting in considerable savings. Four in five VOG apple orchards currently use this system.

For us, sustainability is a 360° approach which also continues after harvest. Apples that don’t pass the quality controls to be marketed as fresh table apples are handed over to VOG Products for the production of juices and other processed products. Other scraps are used in the production of apple leather and paper. These processes help to reduce food waste, one of the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Our commitment to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of apple cultivation also extends to our partnership with other players in the sector and the world of research in the sustainapple project, which outlines strategies for the sustainable development of apple cultivation in South Tyrol – Südtirol.

  • 4 In what ways does VOG – Home of apples engage with local communities or support local growers, and how does this impact the overall ethos of your brand? 

The main goals of the Consortium are the satisfaction of our consumers and the satisfaction of our apple farmer partners. The apple cultivation system we represent is made up of families organised into efficient and highly competent cooperatives, a network that prioritises quality, innovation and local growth and which is regarded as a virtuous model at international level.

To safeguard this legacy, it is crucial that apple farmers receive the compensation they deserve so they can invest in the future of their profession. This means growing and marketing increasingly attractive and satisfying products for the consumers of different countries. There are many challenges, from European consumption levels to the increase in costs, but we are ready to address them by involving and dialoguing with all players in the supply chain.


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