The National German Sustainability Award 2018
Germany’s ‘most sustainable’ brand is ANDECHSER NATUR
With its brand, ANDECHSER NATUR, the Andechser Dairy Scheitz has won the German Sustainability Award of 2018. CEO Barbara Scheitz welcomes the recognition of the ‘German Sustainability Award’: “The ‘German Sustainability Award’ is special to us because our ANDECHSER NATUR organic products are the focus, as they, as a brand, embody most significantly our credo ‘leave natural things natural’.”
The National German Sustainability prize is awarded by the German Sustainability Award Foundation in cooperation with the Federal Government and since 2017 it has been under the aegis of the German Federal President.
For more then 100 years the family-owned company, Andechser Dairy Scheitz, has been operating in the dairy business. In 1980, ‘ecologically produced’ milk was processed for the first time, today 645 organic dairy farms provide milk for the modern middle-sized dairy. The dairy observes pasture feeding of organically fed cows with an extra ‘pasture bonus’, which is unique in Germany. In order to ‘put a face to the farmers and create a virtual closeness between the consumer and the producer, the traceability of the product was already introduced in 2008. By entering the best before date, consumers can trace back from which region, or from which organic farm the milk in the products comes from. In addition, consumers can sponsor a cow in order to get to know life on an organic farm and support ecological farming with their contribution.
The jury of the sustainability award honored the professional branding and the stable strength of the brand in the realm of sustainability, as well as the creative approaches to communication. Barbara Scheitz’ reaction: “With our organic product line, ANDECHSER NATUR, we have taken many additional initiatives to engage consumers for organic products. And we have been successful in doing so as well. However, we have to thank our consumers that the Jury of the German Sustainability Award honored this as a ‘success of the brand’, as demand for ANDECHSER NATUR organic products has constantly increased over many years.”
The sustainability award for the organic dairy is due to all participants in the ‘organic value-added chain’. “Everyone is part of the success, first and foremost our organic farmers, our staff, the trade and the consumers of our organic dairy products. We are certainly happy about the German Sustainability Award, but we primarily understand it as an impulse that we continue being committed to our credo: ‘leave natural things natural’.”
What is organic?
The state organic label was introduced in 2001. Since then, the concepts “ecological” and “organic” and “eco” have been legally protected.
Organic foods are only permitted to carry the label when the product is produced without chemical pesticides and without synthetic or mineral fertilizers, and without containing genetically modified products. Animals have to be kept in conditions appropriate to their species, with sufficient open-air grazing areas and feed free from antibiotics.
Neither flavor enhancers nor artificial flavors are allowed during the productions process. The products have to be processed carefully and without radiation in order to preserve the properties of the organic food.
In general, all ingredients of agricultural origin have to come from ecological produce whereby water and salt are not considered agricultural ingredients. Furthermore, up to five per cent of these ingredients are subject to strictly regulated exceptions; they have to be listed in Annex IX of the Regulation (EG) No. 889/2008, otherwise a justified case in the form of an exception must have been permitted by the authorities in charge (e.g. non-availability in organic quality). This is true for organic foods carrying the state organic label, as well as the organic label introduced by the European Union in 2010. According to the EU ecological regulation (EG) No. 834/2007, 95% of the ingredients of organic foods have to originate from agricultural products.
The requirements of the Bioland, Demeter, Naturland and Biokreis associations are much stricter than those of the legislator – their organic food consists of 100% organic ingredients which are checked by independent experts on a regular basis. Furthermore, they treat natural resources with care and contribute actively to the protection of animals, soil, water and the environment. Andechser Dairy Scheitz obtains its most important raw material daily, fresh from Bioland, Demeter, Naturland and Biokreis: organic milk.
This is how organic cows live
For our ANDECHSER NATUR organic products we only use organic milk certified by the organic agricultural organizations whose regulations are much stricter than the requirements of the EU’s organic farming standards or those of conventional production standards.
More than 80% of our farmers pursue pasture grazing and receive an extra fee on top of the milk price, as we urgently want to support this kind of livestock farming. With our campaign, “We let the cow out”, early this summer, we wanted to draw attention to the benefits of pasture grazing.
The livestock farming and the feeding of the cows and goats is indicated on the packaging by means of the association label, according to whose standards the cows and goats on the farms live. For example, most of the feed must consist of organic roughage (i.e. grass). For more information about livestock farming and feeding, click here www.bioland.de to find out more about Bioland standards.