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Commercial productive apple growing in a northern climate
– innovation for new climate resilient agriculture in northern Europe – ett project financed by EIP agri
Large scale apple growing in northern Sweden. 12.000 apple trees the start of new sustainable agriculture.
Brännland Cider to establish 10 hectares of commercially viable and productive apple orchards in collaboration with farmers, regional governments as well as national and international stakeholders from academia and business.
Bringing together these stakeholders within the agricultural sector has been ongoing since 2017 in parallel with Västerbotten-based ice cider producer Brännland Cider establishing its ciders in national and international markets. Preceded by trial orchards in the vicinity of the city of Umeå on the Baltic seaboard the company is now scaling up its ambitions. In December 2019 the Swedish Board of Agriculture granted funding to the project “Commercial productive apple growing in a northern climate – innovation for new climate resilient agriculture in northern Europe” within the framework of EIP-agri, the European innovation partnership for productivity and sustainability within agriculture.
This is a major step in creating an entirely new and unique terroir for ice cider in northern Sweden but of course also opens up a large scope of opportunities for farmers in the north to diversify with positive implications for agriculture, regional food production, tourism and the larger sustainability issues our society as a whole faces. The project aligns to the ambitions highlighted in the EU Green Deal and 2030 UN Sustainability Development Goals.
The project is set to run between 2020 and 2023 and will combine traditional cultivation models with more conventional methods, trial a wide base of apple varieties to create an opportunity for northern farmers to diversify, optimize land use, decrease transports and water usage in the region and create a new branch of climate resilient sustainable agriculture. The long term aim also includes stream-lined product development partnerships from the individual farmer to local, regional and global markets.
This project will expand on and put into practice, on a commercial scale, the positive experiences Brännland Cider has made so far in the trial orchards in Burträsk 100 km north of Umeå and at Röbäcksdalen just outside Umeå.
A strong team has formed around the mission. The project will be led by Daniel Pacurar from Boreal Orchards who up until now has been instrumental in contributing practical experience and academic knowledge to the trial orchards that have formed the basis for the project. Daniel is a horticultural engineer with a PhD in Agronomy and long experience in R&D and in leading large and ambitious projects within biotech, horticulture and forestry.
“Commercial productive apple growing in a northern climate – innovation for new climate resilient agriculture in northern Europe”
- The project aims testablish 10 hectares of commercially viable apple orchards, the equivalent of 12.000 trees, in the three northernmost counties in Sweden, Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Västernorrland.
- The project runs between 2020 and 2023 with a total budget of 10.7 million SEK (1.1 million EUR) out of which 85% is funded through EIP-agri.
- Collaborative group/expertise/stakeholders,
- Elisabeth Öberg, representing the regional government of Norrbotten, agronomist, horticultural advisor and published author of several scientific papers focusing on and specializing on the specifics of commercial horticulture in northern Sweden.
- Beatrice Wiström, gardener with long standing experience, knowledge and passion relating tnorthern apples.
- Leif Blomqvist, founder and owner of Blomqvist Plantskola OY (Lepplax, Finland). The European authority and author of several textbooks considered standard on northern apple varieties.
- Niclas Johansson CEO of Elsanta. Elsanta is one of Sweden’s largest wholesalers of fruit and vegetables as well as one of countrys biggest apple growers.
- Mats Granath, CEO of LRF Västerbotten, the national Swedish farmers association.
- Tove Franzén, COO, Brännland Cider.
- Andreas Sundgren, managing director and founder of Brännland Cider.
- Daniel Pacurar, Founder & Chairman of Boreal Orchards.
The European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, EIP-agri, is a new policy instrument for more stakeholder and demand-driven research & innovation in agriculture.