"Back to nature" is the philosophy behind integrated cultivation. Customers are now more critical and demanding than ever before when it comes to flavour, product quality and responsibility for environmental issues. This is why, as early as 1989, around 90% of South Tyrolean fruit growers moved over to cultivation methods that stayed close to nature and used environmentally-friendly pest control.
The producers who are involved in integrated cultivation almost exclusively use natural predators combined with natural production methods to control pests. Chemicals are used only in exceptional cases. Integrated cultivation is subject to stringent checks by Agrios (the workgroup for integrated cultivation). Agrios' seal of quality, the "South Tyrol ladybird trademark", is a guarantee for our customers that our products are of the very highest quality and not harmful to health in any way.
The Seven Rules of integrated production:
- Only healthy tree stock can be used in our fruit orchards.
- Each apple variety is grown in its best location.
- Our fruit orchards (soil, trees and fruit) are tended carefully to protect the orchard and the environment.
- Pests are dealt with using natural methods as far as possible. For example, we use ladybirds, lacewings and syrphids to combat aphids, phytoseid mites to combat spider mites, and sexual pheromones to disrupt the mating of tortrix male moths. These are just a few of the natural enemies we use against pests. Ecological methods are always the preferred choice.
- Fruit growers keep orchard registers which record all measures used to regulate diseases and pests, grass, weeds and yield.
- Compliance with Agrios guidelines is verified by AGRIOS whilst compliance with packaging and quality standards is inspected by the South Tyrolean Quality Assurance Agency on behalf of the state government and the associations.
- Orchards with poor inspection results are rigorously excluded from integrated cultivation