For centuries, agriculture has shaped society and the cultural landscape in the Tyrol and provided its people with quality food and raw materials. Although agriculture now accounts for only six percent of all persons in gainful employment, it is still a decisive factor in the region. The Tyrol has about 16,900 farms and forestry businesses, with a total labour force of approximately 44,200. In view of their involvement in other sectors of the economy such as tourism and the trades, and their contribution to nature protection, the prevention of natural hazards, and the preservation of rare species of flora and fauna, Tyrolean farms have a significance that goes well beyond their role in food production. Among other things, the region’s mountain farmers have created a unique cultural landscape, which attracts large numbers of tourists to the Tyrol.
Beef and dairy farming dominate in the Tyrol, accounting for almost fifty percent of total agricultural output. In the mountainous areas, conditions are difficult for the production of high-grade unadulterated foodstuffs, and produce from the mountain farms cannot compete at the level of the price on the world markets. That makes sales of Tyrolean foodstuffs within the region all the more important.
Externer Link Agrarmarketing Tirol (AMTirol) (in German) develops and manages programmes designed to strengthen the market position of food products from Tyrolean farms. AMTirol operates as a platform for the Tyrol's partners in production, processing, retail and tourism, and also for consumers. The organisation awards the "Quality from the Tyrol" ("Qualität aus Tirol") seal of approval. AMTirol has the legal form of an association and is sponsored by the Tyrolean regional authority and other organisations.
Externer Link "Aware Tyrol" (in German) - "Bewusst Tirol" - is a joint marketing campaign run by the regional authority, the Tirol Werbung (Tyrolean Tourism Board) and Agrarmarketing Tirol in support of the agricultural sector, trade and industry, and tourism in the Tyrol. The objective of “Aware Tyrol” is strengthened regional economic interaction, awareness building for regional products, a higher net product from regional produce, and increased sales of Tyrolean products in restaurants.
The Regional Veterinary Office (in German) was established to rule out health problems relating to the consumption of animal products. It is responsible for all aspects of veterinary hygiene as well as protection for animals, breeding work, offal and cadaver disposal, and the Animal Epidemic Fund.
The Tyrol regional authority also runs a number of agricultural colleges (in German), where students learn the relevant agricultural trades.
As compensation for the structural handicaps and specific disadvantages of mountain agriculture, the Tyrol's mountain farmers receive payments form the regional and national authorities, and from the EU in the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy. Support is also provided for environment-friendly land management measures.
The Forestry Support Office serves the goal of maintaining sustainable and ecological forestry (in German) in the Tyrol. The objective is to ensure that the forests are managed as a recreational space and to preserve their protective functions for future generations.
Click here for further information on the subject of agriculture, support programmes and the relevant departments at the Office of the Tyrolean Regional Government (in German).