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The roots of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand

Generations of Pioneers

The founding fathers of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand were considered by others to be pioneers or idealists. They saw themselves rather as in the tradtional people who hadn't lost contact with nature or underestimated its values. They all had down-to-earth roots, some of them coming from farming families or being passionate tourists and hoteliers.

The roots of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand

Founding member Franz Widauer from Holzhotel Forsthofalm in Leogang  was awarded the Austrian State Prize for Tourism. In 1993, he was the creator of the promotional association for Saalach Valley Farm Produce, opened the Farmer’s Store in Saalfelden and founded the Organic Breakfast business “Group Saalach Valley”.

Those initiatives were, for the time, not only innovative but also necessary as businesses in the Saalach Valley had already formed together to offer their guests organic nutrition and produce as well during their holidays. A special mention goes to Marianne Brettermeier, from Gartenhotel Theresia in Saalbach Hinterglemm, who was one of the first to offer the Salzburger Organic Breakfast and play a significant role in the creation of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand.

Another key founder of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand was Robert Rosenstatter, Director of the BioArt AG in Seeham, who has been recognised as an Austrian Organic Pioneer since 1996. The father of four has focussed fully on the organic promotion and is responsible for several organic brands and projects. He has been characterised, along with his brother Hermann Rosenstatter from Organic Hotel Schiessentobel, by the philosophy of his father who as a farmer and chairman of the Salzburger Agrarmarketing already had his own business organically certified in 1994.

In 1998, Robert Rosenstatter took over the “Bauernkörberl” and shortly after founded the “Salzburger Organic Breakfast” together with Peter Hecht from Bio-Austria. With a strong partner such as Bio-Austria it was clear that only certified businesses and their produce could be a part of the Salzburger Organic Breakfast.

The BIO AUSTRIA is the largest association of organic farmers and is a key part of the success of Austrian organic farming. Almost two-thirds of all organic businesses are organised within the association and operate according to its guidelines, which are well above the EU Organic Guidelines Standard. BIO AUSTRIA looks after and consults the organic farmers in all areas of organic farming, along with organic marketing and representing their interests in both politics and economy. With Peter Hecht as the person responsible for organic gastronomy, the keystone for the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand, as we know it today, was laid.

These two powerful initiatives were right from the beginning working towards the same goal, albeit independently of each other. That goal being to connect the local organic producers to tourism in SalzburgerLand, to work towards the highest possible quality level and to guarantee guests a genuine, close to nature holiday experience. Thus, these initiators very quickly came together with this idea to form a strong platform.

In the meantime, 27 hotels have been found who also believe in this initiative and who wanted to take part in such an offer for the tourists. The pioneers Franz Widauer, Marianne Brettermeier, Robert Rosenstatter and Peter Hecht initiated the next steps together to find further powerful partners who also believed in the idea of a touristic marketing group specialised in organic and close to nature offers. They found it with SalzburgerLand Tourismus, the state tourism organisation for the state of Salzburg, and also with the marketing platform “Farmhouse Holidays” who quickly became partners. Shortly afterwards in 1999, the “Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand” association was founded. In close co-operation with the SalzburgerLand Tourismus, host partners of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand were introduced Europe wide to organically aligned target groups. The Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand would also like to thank a silent supporter: Daniell Porsche with his Schützenwirt.

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