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Leave Natural Things Natural

Barbara Scheitz

 

Andechser Dairy Scheitz and its staff not only dream of happy cows and happy goats. We also dream of happy people. This is why we want the organic branch to be not only sustainable and sensitive, but we also want it to grow and prosper, so that we are able to offer the farmers and dairy farmers a safe perspective for the future.

Respect and responsibility towards mankind and nature are part of our company philosophy.

With our organic products we also have the desire to make an active contribution to a healthy diet, a clean environment and the preservation of traditional farming structures. Therefore, true to the motto “leave natural things natural”, we only process organically produced and certified raw products. And solely without artificial additives, flavors and without genetically modified substances.  

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.

 

Why ecological farming is so important

Together with the Andechser Natur organic dairy farmers, the Andechser Dairy Scheitz focuses on resource-efficient, ecological farming with soil, groundwater, animal and climate protection – without the use of artificial fertilizers, chemical sprays such as glyphosate and GM technology. This crucial contribution pays off in many ways; this form of farming is fit for the future and is good for us and our children. 

Preservation of biodiversity and the local cultural landscape

The organic dairy farmers that farm according to the strict guidelines of the cultivation associations of Bioland, demeter, Naturland, Biokreis, allow environmentally friendly, ecological farming. They thus make a particularly crucial contribution to the preservation of biodiversity and the local cultural landscape. The total ecological area that has so far been cultivated by the organic farmers supplying Andechser Dairy Scheitz measures around 28,000 hectares. Furthermore, the premises of the Andechser Dairy Scheitz offer greened roofs and designated lawns where wildflowers and herbs grow naturally, serving as an excellent nutritional source for insects – such as the ‘Andechs bee colonies’ housed in their own bee hives since 2015. 

Preservation and building of humus

The content of humus in the topsoil in ecologically farmed meadows is five times higher than that in arable land and is characterized by a larger biodiversity and more species of plants. The organic farmers of the Andechser Dairy Scheitz are mindful of their soil, offering habitat and space with sufficient room to move and breathe to all ground animals and plant roots. And soil life, when it is healthy, comprises hundreds of thousands of insects, worms, beetles and other microorganisms and it is sound as well. The soil used is full of life – earthworms are responsible for loosening the soil, making it an excellent storage for water. The consequence is that water can seep away much better, resources are saved, fertile soil is preserved and thus, valuable humus is built. It is important to keep up the link between production and arable land in ecological farming. In practice this means that one cow grazes on an area of one hectare of land. First, the cow is fed by this land and then it gives back just as much manure as the soil requires for the positive development of humus. 

Good organic milk = Good water

The organic farmers from Andechser Natur are also responsible for Munich’s drinking water. Ecological farming is practiced protection of the environment and water. Animal husbandry and soil management make for an organic closed loop. The general prohibition of chemical and synthetic manure and plant protection products is especially important for water management. Therefore, water in the Mangfalltal is guaranteed to remain of excellent quality.

Animal welfare and livestock farming in keeping with their specific nature

Every year, the organic farmers of Andechser Natur support the welfare of their animals, 365 days a year. The animals live in herd communities of and are able to enjoy a generous run. This is also promoted by the so-called grazing premiums of the Andechser Dairy Scheitz, which ensures that ever more animals graze on lush meadows and find natural fodder. Stabling in keeping with their specific nature makes animal husbandry more appropriate to the species. It means more space to move around, social contact with other animals, comfortable stalls with bedding and additional comfort such as massage brushes.

Protection of the climate and resources

The Andechser Dairy Scheitz has been a family company for more than 111 years, for more than 40 years it has been considered an eco-pioneer throughout Germany. The philosophy, “leave natural things natural” is lived every day. The architectural developments, such as the high rack warehouse with administration building (in 2015) and the new milk unloading system (in 2019) were implemented according to state-of-the-art technical standards with an efficient energy-saving concept. A compressed air CHP unit and (since 2020) a cogeneration unit allow considerable additional energy and CO2 savings. Any additionally required power is 100% ecological. The organic dairy in Andechs places emphasis on state-of-the-art technology, to make all the steps of organic milk processing as safe and efficient as possible, and consistently save resources such as water and packaging materials.