Lower Austrian beekeepers have dominated an award ceremony held to celebrate the achievements of organic businesses.
Seven of the 19 apiarists who received a Golden Honeycomb Award at the ‘Bio Oesterreich’ (Organic Austria) Fair in Wieselburg, Lower Austria, are based in the northeastern province. Beekeepers from Styria also fared well with four award-winning products.
Stefan Pernkopf, the deputy governor of Lower Austria, called his province the “organic world champion.” The People’s Party politician underlined: “There are more than 600 organic companies in Lower Austria. Half of all Austrian organic cropland is situated here. I’m convinced that organic farming will continue to work out well.”
Hanni Ruetzler – a renowned expert on trends in the food industry – called on organic firms to establish professional connections. She said: “Now is the time to reset the focus from traditional to innovative products. Lone warriors must turn into busy networkers.”
Peter Raninger from Ardning, Viennese apiarist Matthias Kopetzky, Goestling-based beekeeper Laurentia Blumauer, Gertraud and Franz Aigner from Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Leopold Hoerhan from Purgstall and Steinakirchen-based apiarist Karin Watschka are among the award-winning professional and hobbyist beekeepers.
More than 1,200 samples from 622 manufacturers were examined by a jury of experts. Around 120 organic companies presented their wide product range at the fair.
Around 4,100 tonnes of conventional and organic honey were produced in Austria in the 2020/2021 business year, according to figures provided by the Federal Ministry Of Agriculture.
Most apiaries are situated in Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria.