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SPAR expands range with biodynamic vegetables from Morgentau

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Christian Stadler and son harvesting in the strip cropping system
Christian Stadler and his son harvesting in the strip cropping system. Picture © SPAR / Brunnbauer

The demand for organic food remains high at the supermarket chain SPAR. Therefore, SPAR expands its organic assortment not only with organic but also with biodynamic food. Demeter potatoes and Demeter carrots from Morgentau in Hofkirchen im Traunkreis in Upper Austria have recently become available at SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR in Austria.

Preserving diversity in nature and also promoting it, is a major concern for SPAR. Important partners in this mission are the Demeter Association and Demeter farmers such as Christian Stadler of Morgentau. As one of the first farmers in Austria, he relies on strip cropping in his fields to provide valuable habitat for bees and insects and to promote biodiversity.

Innovative strip cropping to promote biodiversity in agriculture

On one of the oldest organic arable farms in Austria, Christian Stadler has been sowing and harvesting potatoes and carrots since 1993. The farm has been managed according to organic guidelines since 1986, and according to biodynamic guidelines for the past two years. "We look at agriculture from a holistic perspective. Soil condition is important for our vegetables to grow properly and develop their flavor. In order for the soil to become living soil, microorganisms such as protozoa, tiny insects but also earthworms are of particular importance. Knowledge of the material cycles and life processes in the soil is the basic prerequisite for the quality of our vegetables," says the Demeter farmer, describing his philosophy.

For this reason, the farmer also relies on strip cropping, which provides a diverse habitat and important food bases for honey bees, wild bees and many other flower-pollinating insects. It therefore plays an important role in preserving domestic biodiversity. With three and five meters respectively, strip cropping is already being implemented at Morgentau in Hofkirchen. Research is being carried out to determine how the population of predatory bugs, ladybugs and ichneumon wasps is developing in the adjacent fields.

"We are making some important experiences with strip cropping this year and are constantly learning. I think, particularly potatoes are easier to implement in strip cropping, even though these plants do not need the insects for pollination," Christian Stadler explains the new approach in his farming. The project to preserve habitat for insects is being scientifically accompanied by the University of Vienna.

Biodynamic agriculture at SPAR

Demeter was founded in 1928 and is thus the oldest organization for biodynamic agriculture. With the same standards worldwide and particularly strict guidelines, Demeter stands for the highest quality in farming and processing. The basic philosophy is to promote the development of the soil, plants, animals and people and to intervene as little as possible in the course of nature.

Site-specific cultivation according to soil conditions, gentle harvesting, the best storage and the most careful processing, guarantees the highest quality of the products. Thanks to the pioneering partnership with SPAR as part of the initiative "Saving Diversity Together", there are already around 200 products from biodynamic agriculture on the shelves of SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR.


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