AGRANA products as a contribution to climate protection
AGRANA evaluated its product portfolio based on the criteria for environmentally sustainable economic activities set out in the EU’s unified classification system (EU Taxonomy). On this basis, the following AGRANA product categories were defined as sustainable or climate-friendly:
- Products certified to an organic standard
- Products whose raw materials fulfil the sustainability criteria of the FSA gold or silver standard
- Substitutes for products of fossil origin (e.g., bioethanol, and starches for use in bioplastics, cosmetics, and adhesives)
- Products made in a manner consistent with a circular economy (all feeds and fertilisers produced by AGRANA)
Using these criteria, about 56% of the product volume sold by AGRANA in 2019|20 qualified as sustainable or climate-friendly.
Organic products in all business segments – Organic is more than just a trend
At AGRANA, we were early to identify the steadily growing levels of awareness among consumers with regard to sustainability and health as well as the rising demand for organic products. We offer organic products in all of our business segments; products which are certified by independent monitoring agencies.
Organic Fruit Preparations
As studies have highlighted, besides eggs, milk and bananas, organic fruit yoghurts are among the most frequently purchased organic foods in Austrian retail outlets. It is highly probable that the fruit contained in these products is from AGRANA given that AGRANA Fruit Austria and Germany are the European market leaders in organic fruit preparations. These products have been produced at our facilities in Konstanz, Gleisdorf and Kröllendorf for over 20 years on the basis of close cooperation with customers.
The strict regulations applicable to organic products also entail additional requirements placed on AGRANA in terms of the traceability of the ingredients. Pursuant to EU directives, fruit preparations for use in organic fruit yoghurts are not permitted to contain any preservatives or colouring agents; restrictions which have a major influence on the careful selection of the fruit to be processed. Furthermore, organic fertilisers such as compost, manure or slurry have to be used instead of synthetic chemical fertilisers. Weeds and pests have to be controlled primarily by mechanical means or so-called 'natural enemies'. In order to be able to meet these requirements, AGRANA sources its commodities exclusively from growers with whom it has established long-term partnerships or from its own fruit plantations. In Poland and Ukraine, AGRANA operates its own processing plants in which the freshly harvested organic fruit is sorted, cleaned and freeze-dried as soon as it is picked.
Organic Fruit Juice Concentrates
The trend in favour of organic products has also caught on in the beverages industry. Consumer demand for organic juices has led AGRANA Juice to respond accordingly and extend its product range to include certified organic fruit concentrates. This new organic product line includes apple and elderberry fruit juice concentrates as well as the extraction of organic flavourings during the production of apple juice.
In the course of its good cooperations with contract farmers, AGRANA Juice continues to encourage the expansion of organic growing practices in order to also be able to guarantee customers outstanding safe product quality in the years ahead.
In the near future and with an eye on other consumer developments, AGRANA Juice plans to extend its organic product range to include, for example, premium quality fruit juices such as raspberry
Organic starch products
In its Starch segment, the mill in Gmünd processes organically grown potatoes a year to produce organic starches and starch derivatives. The Aschach mill processes organic corn. Both mills make use of the latest environmentally sensitive processing methods. The AGRANA facilities in Aschach and Gmünd are among the first industrial processing plants in Europe to be certified as organic processors.
Organic starches are used in nearly all processed organic food and semi-luxury food products such as desserts, soups, sauces, snacks as well as chews and jelly-based products as an indispensable thickening, stabilising and flavouring agent
Organic Wiener Zucker
While organic sugar in the past was largely imported from Africa as organic raw sugar, during the 2008|2009 campaign AGRANA for the first time produced organic beet sugar in accordance with the requirements of the EU directive on organic farming. During the first growing season (2008), around 300 hectares of land was cultivated by around 80 farmers. These figures have approximately more than doubled in a few years.
In the interests of ensuring an economic cycle which is as complete as possible, the refining of organic sugar also entails the manufacture of by-products such as organic animal feed and fertilisers. This nearly complete recycling of agricultural commodities allows quantities of waste products to be reduced and is consistent with the underlying principles of ecologically sound economic practices.
AGRANA's organic beet sugar is available in retail outlets under the Wiener Zucker brand and is also sold to the food processing industry.