Cultural land is agricultural land
A glance into the Wagrain-Kleinarl valley is enough to come to the deep realisation that tourism and agriculture are twins of Mother Earth, descendants of the same biotope, living from the same resources and whose sustainable existence is bound to each other forever.
The maintenance and preservation of the cultural landscape, which is what gives the Wagrain-Kleinarl Valley its charm and character, is entirely in the hands of farmers - and has been for generations. Young farmer families too, which do not have a 5-day working week, an 8-hour working day or 5 weeks of holiday a year. Farm life means being responsible for the house and the farm 365 days a year and for a healthy animal population and to work without looking at the clock. Without the great idealism and without the close connection to the farm and to nature, without the cohesion in the farming families, the management of the farms in the Wagrain-Kleinarl valley, most of them mountain farms with difficult economic conditions, would not be possible.
The existence of the twins of tourism and agriculture is not one-sided
Functioning tourism also offers great opportunities for regional smallholder agriculture. So holiday at the farm is a very popular product among summer and winter guests, and the well-kept accommodation on the farms has an above-average occupancy rate. For many farming families in Wagrain-Kleinarl, letting is an important source of income and a second mainstay of their business. The prerequisite for tourism in the Alps is the development of the valleys and mountains with tourist infrastructure such as hiking and cycling trails, ski slopes and cross-country trails, mountain railways, ski and hiking buses… Their construction, maintenance and operation requires great effort and must be financed year after year. The land for these facilities is provided by the farmers. Many farms in Wagrain-Kleinarl are run on a part-time basis, as the income from the farm, even with the subsidies, is not sufficient to make a living. This means that farmers are doing a different job. Thanks to tourism in the valley, there are many possibilities and sufficient regional job opportunities: with the mountain railways, in gastronomy and the hotel business, with the crafts enterprises…
But why am I a farmer?
This is all well and good and you can lead a good life, keep your farm and live in your home town, but that's not why you became a farmer. The deep roots, the real meaning, the identity of the farming community is to produce food and to be able to live from the proceeds of their products. This is the approach taken by the Bio aus dem Tal initiative. To produce the best, regional and healthy organic food for locals and guests and to find buyers in the valley and in the region who appreciate this and are willing to pay a fair price for handcrafted organic quality.
Fair but not expensive
The price for Bio aus dem Tal food is higher than conventional goods - for good reason. In terms of quality and enjoyment , the organic products from the valley have the very highest standard - as regional and sustainable as it gets. The price remains within reasonable limits and affordable for everyone - the prerequisite remains appreciation for the work of the farmers and the quality of the regional organic products among consumers.
Agriculture and ski tourism
Alpine winter sports, the space required for them and above all the energy required for snow-making on the ski slopes are sometimes viewed very critically by outsiders. Only 0.5% of the total area of the Salzburgerland, a leading, highly developed winter sports region, is ski slopes. As far as agriculture is concerned, farmers do not lose land for meadows and pastures for slopes and cross-country ski runs and the yield on these areas is not lower. In many cases, cultivation has become easier and the biodiversity on the slopes is very high. The ski slopes are meadows and alpine pastures, as the pictures and the video of the management of the shuttle mountain Flachauwinkl-Kleinarl in summer impressively show. The ski huts are run exclusively by local farming families and their descendants in the first and now also the second generation.
So, a clear win-win situation between tourism and agriculture. Although we prefer the image of the twins of Mother Earth for tourism and agriculture, who live and work in inseparable and mutually successful coexistence.