High effort for perfect apples

By Christian BlockLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Healthy and practical: apples have a good image. In order for them to be bought in the shops, fruit farmers have to put a lot of work into growing them ‒ including pesticides. We shed some insight into the production.

25 days. Claude Tinel keeps precise records. The apple harvest had to be brought forward by more than three weeks this year. The agricultural technician took us to one of the Co-Labor facilities near Remerschen. There is not much left on the trees. But it's enough to have a taste.

Together with Davy Anders and the rest of the staff, Claude Tinel looks after a dozen apple varieties on an area of just under two hectares, spread over a handful of communities in the Moselle region in the south-east of the country. More than a decade ago, plans for a fruit-growing project matured within the cooperative. From the beginning, it was clear that production should be oriented towards organic farming standards. Today, Co-Labor grows cherries, pears, mirabelles, strawberries, raspberries, currants, or blue honeysuckle on about five hectares.

"We have chosen plants that are now frequently used in organic farming, plants that are resistant to diseases, in theory also resistant to drought", explains the person in charge of fruit growing. Because it is organic, the list of treatment options is limited. These are varieties that are probably not among the best known. In conversation, names like Nela, Resi or Pinova come up. "For me, this is a quality apple", Tinel says about the latter.

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