Bregenzerwald Cheese Route (KäseStrasse Bregenzerwald)
The Cheese Route is a co-operative venture involving farmers, dairies, innkeepers, retail and the trades in the Bregenzerwald. All the members and partners in the Cheese Route are committed to preserving the typical landscape of the Bregenzerwald and promoting the further development and enhancement of the local produce. Support measures for innovation on the farms and in the dairies and in the field of marketing are just as important as co-operation and the creation of synergies with other regional organisations.
Käsestrasse Bregenzerwald Verein zur Förderung der Bregenzerwälder Käsekultur, A-6863 Egg, Impulszentrum 1135, tel. ++43 (0) 55 12 / 23 65 0, fax ++43 (0) 55 12 / 23 65 – 25, e-mail email@example.com.
The association was founded to provide the legal framework and operative structure needed to achieve the project goals. In addition to a 12-strong executive committee and a 3-man board, the operative work is handled by an executive director plus secretariat.
Chairman: Hans-Peter Metzler, Tourism Division, Hittisau; Deputy Chairman: Mag. Jürgen Sutterlüty, Retail Division, Egg; Deputy Chairman: Klaus Schwarz , Dairy Division, Hittisau. Cheese Route Executive Committee: restaurateurs, dairy representatives, direct marketing farmers, representatives of the cableways, tourism organisations and other partners, Bregenzerwald Tourist Office (Executive Director Herlinde Moosbrugger), Regionalplanungsgemeinschaft Bregenzerwald (regional planning group), Regionalentwicklungs GmbH (regional development organisation) in Egg (Chairman Mayor Anton Wirth).
The Bregenzerwald Cheese Route Association was established in 1998 following Austrian accession to the EU. Its primary objectives: preservation of the small-holding agricultural structure that is so important for the regional identity and management of the cultural landscape (1000 farming families with an average of 8 hectares of land attached to the farm); increased value-added from regional dairy production; networking between actors in tourism, agriculture, and the trades, retail and services; maintaining the 19 small village dairies and the many alpine dairies, and – in connection with that – preservation of the typical type of three-level alp farming plus avoidance of silage; public relations work and marketing for the Bregenzerwald region on the basis of synergies between agriculture and tourism; positioning the region for its cheese and culinary pleasures; promoting the region’s cheese culture and innovation at the level of production; promoting direct marketing of the produce in the region; more added value; promoting the region’s tourism products and services.
Foundation of the Bregenzerwald Cheese Route Association and signage for the region and all members with the Cheese Route logo; co-operation with the biggest marketeers in the region (Rupp, Alma, Sutterlüty), also at the international level (e.g. Dallmayer); construction of the Bregenzerwald Cheese Cellar; intensive public relations work with well above 500 press releases in most European countries; organisation of large numbers of study tours in the region; establishment of the Cheese Route as a European model for sustainable regional development; integration of the Cheese Route in tourism activity programmes (with more than 75,000 visitors at over 100 events, many of them on a weekly basis); creation and management of a Cheese Route brand with about 15 regional products plus marketing at the national and international levels (with a clear label of origin!); training and support for members; joint presentations and events in and outside of the region; creation and administration of the Cheese Route voucher-
Over 180 members (18 cheese makers, 42 innkeepers, 18 farmers, 23 alpine diaries, 37 businesses in retail, services and the trades, 11 museums, 23 local tourist offices and the Bregenzerwald Tourist Office), continuation of 18 of the 19 original small dairies, production and marketing of over 30 high-grade cheeses (compared with the original 3), 10 Gault-Millau/Michelin restaurants (compared with one), successful positioning as a region of culinary delights, a milk price that is the among the highest in Europe, the Bregenzerwald as the biggest continuous silage-free region in Europe (compared with only 3% of all farmland in the EU), construction of a Cheese Cellar with a biomass heating system (at a cost of EUR 6.5 million), co-operation with the biggest retail food chain in the region, growth in bednights without additional costs for infrastructure, high brand recognition, close co-operation with Werkraum Bregenzerwald (co-operative venture comprising about 70 innovative businesses in the trades).