One woman, two projects, one goal
Therese Fiegl has made it her goal to implement two projects in the spirit of sustainability.
The ‘Bauernkiste’ and ‘Tiroler Edle’ differ in the products, but are the same in their basic idea. The products are to be produced sustainably and under fair conditions. The focus is on respect for people, animals and the environment.
Therese Fiegl – The person behind the projects
‘I am very concerned about communicating high-quality local products directly to consumers. That is my mission‘, says Therese Fiegl. This mission started in 1997 in Thaur, 15 minutes from Innsbruck, when she launched the Bauernkiste. There had been no direct marketing of this kind by farmers until then. At that time, the Innsbruck native swam against the tide: small-scale agriculture instead of wholesale, regionality instead of imported goods, was the motto of the Bauernkiste.
It did not take five years before Therese Fiegl’s next project was in the starting blocks. After she met patissier Hansjörg Haag, the idea for a special chocolate with local ingredients was born: the Tiroler Edle. The sustainable concept not only supports farmers in Tirol, but also people in Africa, where the cocoa for the chocolate comes from.
Bauernkiste – The Innovative Direct Marketing
From fruit and vegetables to meat and dairy products to wellness products, customers can find everything their ‘sustainable heart’ desires. You can put together your own farmer’s crate or simply order an already compiled vegetable crate – also on a subscription basis – to take home. The boxes contain regional farm produce and seasonal fruit and vegetables of the best quality. ‘We go with the seasons and adapt to their shapes, colours and moods,‘ says Fiegl.
After all, the motto is: quality instead of mass, freshness and regionality instead of long, ecologically questionable transport routes and respect for the environment and natural resources. In addition to regionality and freshness, waste avoidance and recycling are among the environmentally friendly advantages of the Bauernkiste. The prices are set by the producers themselves and there are no middlemen, which guarantees fair remuneration. Thus, customers promote local value creation, a better ecological balance and regional know-how through their purchase.
‘What makes us tick is hard work, the passion of farming families and people’s love for what they create,‘ describes the shop owner. During farm tours, visitors can get an idea of how things are done there and see where the products come from. They also receive this information through the delivery notes that are always enclosed with the Bauernkiste. The producers thus enter into a trusting relationship with their customers.
Tiroler Edle – noble production and noble taste
3000 years – that’s how long Tyrolean Grey cattle, a special breed of cattle, have been at home in the Tyrolean mountains. The name of the chocolate is based on the Tyrolean grey cattle, because the farmers also call the cows ‘noble’. The milk and cream for the Tiroler-Edle chocolate comes from them. ‘The grey cows are free to decide where and how they spend their day on the mountain pasture. I think you can taste that in our chocolate‘, says Fiegl. The cocoa, on the other hand, comes from Ghana, as the cocoa fruit does not grow in Tyrol. The process from opening and gutting the cocoa fruit to drying and the subsequent quality inspection is done purely by hand. ‘It is particularly important to me that everyone involved is paid fairly and that no one is exploited,’ says the agricultural economist, adding: ‘I feel good with the thought that our Tiroler Edle project contributes a small piece to making things better for the people in Ghana‘. That is why the workers are paid above average for their work.
The rest of the ingredients come from Tyrol, which is crucial for chocolatier Hansjörg Haag in the production of the chocolate: ‘I can look out of the window and say: everything comes from my surroundings. I look at Stanz, for example, where the plums and pears come from. I look straight up to my schnapps distiller. I look into the Ötztal, where we get the cranberries, or up to the Grabberg, where the mint grows. That is important to me. What I see from my window goes into the chocolate.’ Quality control is also done by hand here. Each chocolate is checked by hand, wrapped in recyclable ‘organic foil’ and stamped. Tiroler Edle combines regional raw materials, craftsmanship and an awareness of authentic food production. The result is a delicious sustainable chocolate.
The ‘Bauernkiste’ and the ‘Tiroler Edle’ by Therese Fiegl are Tyrolean success stories. Debensraum Tirol Holding, in cooperation with its subsidiaries (Tirol Tourist Board, Standortagentur Tirol and Agrarmarketing Tirol), brings special companies, projects, initiatives and people before the curtain. What they all have in common is that they play a pioneering role and act as role models for sustainability and responsible business. They contribute to the sustainability of the Tyrolean economy, society and environment and encourage the dissemination of sustainable change concepts. You can find more success stories here (in German only).