Unspoilt nature, majestic mountain ranges, unique and distinctive climate, rocky and mineral-rich soil of the Italian Alps: these are the essential elements that allow Trentino-Alto Adige to produce excellent apples.
European quality and sustainable agriculture are the two pillars on which “Know Apple” is based, the three-year European communication and in-training campaign of Assomela, the Italian association of apple producers, whose acronym means “KNOWING EUROPEAN APPLE”. The purpose of this campaign is to train those working in the sector and, through them, the final consumers on the Italian world of apples in order to make them more aware and informed during the purchase phase.
The topics addressed during the training were several: general knowledge of the apple sector in Europe and Italy and the production system of Trentino-Alto Adige; training of operators on production methods, control and traceability, through the study of different varieties and their characteristics. At last, the topic of apple “care” at the point of sale and its shelf-life has been discussed.
The training activities carried out in June and August in South Tyrol have involved professionals of the Spanish group Eroski – Vegalsa.
In Italy, so far, 2 training courses and study trips have been carried out, through which 16 managers of the “fruit and vegetables” departments of the points of sale of the respective retail chain have been trained. Given the excellent results, these training sessions will be continuing in the coming months.
During these study trips, the two South Tyrolean producers’ organizations, VOG (Marlene), VI.P (Val Venosta), which joined the Assomela project, gave the sector’s operators the opportunity to experience the production realities of the territory at first hand.
The programme was divided into three main stages: classroom training, visits to apple orchards and tours of the processing centers. During the classroom sessions, participants were able to draw on theoretical notions supported by dedicated in-training materials. A Tasting Moment of the apple varieties, especially club apples, has also been organized, to teach how to distinguish their flavours and appearance.
Visits to the apple orchards were organized during the harvesting season, giving the professionals the opportunity to get to know and experience this delicate phase personally, accompanied by expert farmers who guided them through the traditions and production methods that have made South Tyrol the most important production area in the country.
The phases of storage, selection, processing and packaging were then observed within the cooperatives, state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the most modern technologies and machinery on the market.
In the coming months, within the stores, consumers will have the opportunity to be informed about many of these aspects thanks to the information material produced as part of the European campaign. It is through these tools that consumers will be able to learn about news, information and insights that focus on the complex and interesting Italian world of apples, as well as on European quality and sustainable production methods used. Given the great success of the “KNOW APPLE” campaign, by the end of the year of the project it is being considered to carry out further study trips and training sessions.