South Tyrol has a long tradition of fruit growing. As far back as the 16th century, couriers from the region around the River Adige brought fresh and preserved fruits to the courts of the Austrian and Russian monarchs. However, the opening of the railway over the Brenner Pass in 1867began the triumphal procession. To take advantage of this wider marketplace Algund as first fruit growers' co-operative was founded in 1893, followed by many other co-operatives. Even the Second World War could not hinder the success of South Tyrolean fruit. For it was already on August 24th 1945 that several fruit growers' co-operatives joined together under a new umbrella organisation. "Strength through unity" was the guiding principle behind the foundation.
The Association of South Tyrolean Fruit Growers’ Co-operatives, VOG, was born.
From its relatively modest beginning with nine associated co-operatives, VOG has grown quickly to become the largest apple-marketing organisation in Europe. Since the merger with ESO in 1999, the company has experienced ongoing change. As the result of a number of mergers, the 33 fruit grower co-operatives that formed VOG in 2000 have become the 16 members that we see today in 2011. These members actually represent 5200 growers who harvest annually between 550,000 and 600,000 tonnes of precious fruit of highest quality on 10,600 hectares of production area and who continuously strive to guarantee high quality standards, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
With the starting signal for the new distribution strategy on August 1, 2010, the VOG rose to the new challenges set by the market in the new, limitless Europe.