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  • Dr Youri Martin

Cider, Clusters and Conservation

In Luxembourg, local farmers meet to discuss the value biodiversity brings to cider orchards and their region...

A farmer cluster meeting was organised on 19 July 2021 in the facilities of the stakeholder Ramborn Cider. A future meeting schedule with one meeting around flowering time of the apples and a post-harvest meeting was planned and carried out in November, when the main orchard owners and managers who deliver fruit for Ramborn’s cider production as well as a representative of the Natur & Geopark Mëllerdall joined the meeting.

Excitingly, the Luxembourg Sustainability Forum invited Ramborn’s founder Carlo Hein to its main event in 2021 where growing biodiversity initiatives in Luxembourg were presented and discussed. The interview with Carlo Hein can be watched below!

At 46:30 - 47:40 min , the question is raised which other projects on biodiversity are ongoing with Ramborn’s involvement. Carlo Hein briefly explains the purpose of FRAMEwork, the idea of farmer clusters and the funding source.

The cluster's farmers were invited to take care of camera traps in their orchards in 2022. These camera traps will record pictures and videos of birds and mammals during day and nights. We expect to highlight some hidden species (principally during the night). Four farmers already volunteered for this activity and other may join later. They will take care of the camera trap maintenance and regularly download and check the pictures taken.

Cluster Facilitator Dr Youri Martin said:

It's very interesting, Luxembourg is often still like a small village! There are fewer and fewer farmers, but they all know each other. And almost every family in Luxembourg has someone in their family who is a farmer or a farming past and therefore in fact the links between them are quite strong. They always know what is happening in the neighbour's plot and they know how to say hey, how is he changing practices? What are they doing? Do they have have a new machine? Or what is he doing in his orchard? So actually, they talk to each other and they influence each other directly. For example, we had a case study in that happen here.

We have an important farmer in the region, managing orchards, who decided to switch to organic last year and during the process, in the months that followed, we had three other farmers who decided to start over as organic too! To change agricultural approach under the influence of a farmer who showed them that it was possible and that it was even interesting.

It's really word of mouth that works well. Farmers, I think especially now today, are always looking to improve or adapt to environmental changes, new agro-environmental measures and so on...


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