Nearly every tourist who visits Lower Austria stops for a pleasant stay in Wachau. The unique cultural landscape around the Danube is characterized by steep vineyards, which are edged from natural stone walls and bordered by apricot trees.
Wachaus wine is famous all around the world. The apricot trees excite visitors in the springtime with their blossoms, and during the whole year in the form of jam, liqueur or other products made from apricots that this region is famous for.
The youngest cooperative in Lower Austria shows that cooperative empowerment is still a successful way nowadays. The founding meeting of “Wachauer Marille Verarbeitung eG took place in 2011. Currently the cooperative consists of four members; all of them vintners and farmers from the Wachau region.
The reason for founding this cooperative was that every one of the members had a few apricot trees, but each of them had too few apricots to secure processing and marketing in an economically sustainable way.
The cooperative “Wachauer Marille Verarbeitung eG has the following goal: common treatment, processing and marketing of their fruits and vegetables, in the actual case the apricot.
Thanks to the cooperative, the members are able to rent a few more small gardens with apricot trees. Otherwise these gardens would have been left to lie idle due to the above mentioned reasons. The cooperative also makes it possible to jointly use a processing plant and to create a common marketing strategy.
So the characteristic and cultural landscape and its beauty – the small gardens with their apricot trees – remain in place. Thus the cooperative not only supports the economics of their members, it also supports the region – by conserving the beauty of the landscape.