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Kaufland's new apple juice preserves traditional German orchards for future generations

Think of an orchard. What comes to mind might be tall trees laden with fruit, perhaps with sheep grazing in the shade below. That doesn't reflect the modern commercial production of apples and pears. Instead, today's orchards feature long rows of short trees trellised like grape vines for efficient pruning and harvesting.

While these high-density systems produce more fruit on less land, those gains come at a cost to biodiversity and landscape. Recognizing what's lost as traditional orchards disappear, supermarket chain Kaufland just introduced K-Bio Bioland apple juice, made with 30% apples from 'Streuobstwiesen,' or meadow orchards.

Not just a distinctive feature of regional landscapes, these traditional orchards are among Central Europe's most ecologically rich habitats, harboring thousands of species of plants, insects, birds and other animals. To produce its new apple juice and help preserve meadow orchards, Kaufland is working with organic food association Bioland and conservation non-profit Schlaraffenburger.

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Kaufland's shift to using apples from traditional meadow orchards addresses growing consumer concerns about biodiversity loss while also tapping into a desire to preserve regional heritage. Rural landscapes are as much a reflection of a place's culture as they are of its natural elements. So it's no wonder that seeing familiar terrain lost to large-scale agriculture, climate change and population growth can evoke profound feelings of loss.

Positioning themselves as stewards of those combined values of cultural identity and biodiversity offers brands the opportunity to connect with consumers on multiple emotionally resonant levels — especially if the messaging conveys a sense of shared responsibility to safeguard landscapes for future generations. What's your region's Streuobstwiesen?