From fruit to feed and food

Although I’ve been home from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) congress for close to a week, I’m still getting caught up on posts as I finish working my way through the last couple of days of the event. This next one is making me hungry just thinking about it – must be because it’s morning and I haven’t had breakfast yet!

apples arriving at Agrana plant for processing
Apples arriving at Agrana plant for processing - photo by Kelly Daynard

One of Europe’s largest fruit processors opened its doors to agricultural journalists last week as part of the IFAJ congress in Austria/Slovenia.

Agrana, headquartered in Austria, is a producer of fruit yogurts, fruit preparations for the food service industry, fruit juice concentrates, starches, sugars and even animal feed. Many of their product lines are certified organic according to EU specs, which means that 95% of a product’s ingredients must be of natural origin (not man-made) and produced to strict organic rules.

The facility we toured was the former Steirerobst, an Austrian fruit processors that was bought out by the Agrana conglomerate during a buying spree of European companies during 2003-2006.  Here, fruit is prepared for use in the dairy (eg. yogurt), baking or ice cream industries, or is supplied to the beverage industry in concentrated form.

Agrana's company logo
Agrana's company logo

Unfortunately the company-supplied headsets that we were given so we could hear the tour didn’t all work very well. Mine was one of those, so it made it a little difficult to follow the finer details of the tour.

They also didn’t allow photos in the plant, but they did offer us a sampling of their product range after the tour – everything from yogurts to desserts to yogurt drinks to sandwich spreads.

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