The campaign A Trip to Europe in every bite is coming to an end and to live up to its name organized an incredible trip to Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia to show media and key opinion leaders the production processes of fruits, vegetables, meat, beer and wine right in the heart of the European Union (EU).
Joining the experience were editors Raquel del Castillo from Menú El Universal, Inti Vargas from Reforma and Alejandra Rodríguez from El Financiero, as well as influencers @gordosxelmundo and @marieldeviaje, who from September 28 to October 1 visited six European farms and factories.
During this time, the group had the opportunity to see how farmers and producers in the European Union apply different safety, quality and sustainability standards in the production of food and beverages, while ensuring the authentic character of their products. And, of course, to taste delicious meals cooked with fresh, local EU ingredients.
This trip featured visits to three vegetable farms and orchards where participants witnessed the different cultivation methods typical of EU quality fruit and vegetable production.
In Austria, our guests were welcomed at Adamah Bio Hof, a family vegetable farm that grows, harvests and sells organic carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, parsley, parsnips and beets. During the visit, the owners, Gerhard and Simon Zoubek, presented the benefits of organic and sustainable production, and shared that one of the key aspects is to fertilize the soil rather than the plant itself: “We fertilize the soil, so that it is healthy, as healthy soil means healthy plants and therefore, a healthy consumer”, told a representative of the farm. They also added: “It is really important that the customers know how organic farming works. There is not a ‘little organic’ or ‘50% organic’, there is only 100% organic products.” And as farmers showed participants, the EU producers comply with this rule in numerous ways.
The group then visited two farms in Slovakia whose farmers claim that their products are safe and help preserve the environment.
Jiri Stodulka, representative of Farma Kameničany, showed sustainable farming practices to grow pesticide-free tomatoes. "Not a drop of water is wasted," said Stodulka, who also shared that harvesting is done using a modern hydroponic method, which uses rainwater as the main source of water.
At Farma Plantex, guests toured flourishing apples orchards, while the hosts Michal Nigut and L'ubomír Lovrant illustrated how organic practices help create delicious fruits and how self-sufficiency can help preserve the environment. They also explained how the farm uses weeds that grow naturally among the apples trees as compost, adding, "We keep pesticides very low and respect the changing seasons. We grow our fruit so that it is safe for our children."
In the Czech Republic, the group visited Biofarm Rudimov, an organic livestock farm where sheep and cows live on pasture all year round and feed only on grass. There Jan Zak, one of the farm’s representatives, explained the care measures for each animal, "not only are the resources used for meat packaging carefully selected, but each one is fully traceable, so that producers and consumers can know the path of each product from farm to table. On the other hand, buyers can know exactly what living conditions that animal had and where it lived."
But it wasn't all about food, as our travellers were also able to learn more about the EU's traditional beverages.
In the Czech Republic, they visited the Valticke Podzemi winery, where they enjoyed a tasting of five wines made from different local grape varieties. Visitors learned about the long history of wine production in the EU, while understanding how tradition is combined with modern safety and quality measures at every step of winemaking.
Finally, the media and influencers visited the Rotor brewery, where its head brewer, Matej Zaba, showed how they beer making process and explained how the use of locally sourced ingredients guarantees the quality of their product and allows them to create both classic drink, as well as novelties, such as non-alcoholic beverages. "We have the experience of creating high quality beers with the taste that everyone identifies in the Czech Republic and the rest of the world, that is why we are also committed to research and development of new products to surprise our consumers when they least expect it," commented the brewery host.
Going on this trip was not only inspiring, but also reaffirmed our knowledge and respect for the careful production of EU food and beverage products.
Discover the stories behind these delicious products in our upcoming posts about the region's unique fruit and vegetable production; the ins and outs of organic meat production; and its distinguished history of wine and beer production sites in Europe. Stay tuned to @bocadsdeeuropa on Instagram and Facebook.