We've been making organic breakfast products for over 30 years now, which puts us among Austria's true organic pioneers. At Verival, a respectful approach to the environment has top priority. That's why we only use premium, certified organic ingredients for our breakfast products. Organic farming promotes biodiversity, conserves resources, causes less water pollution and maintains soil fertility.
Small, but effective
The first step in guaranteeing optimum quality of our breakfast creations is our careful choice of suppliers. Here we place a strong focus on small organic farmers and producers. Why?
"It's important to us to get to know our partners and suppliers personally wherever possible, and to obtain as much background information about them as we can. Despite all the modern technologies available today, we all know that there's no substitute for personal contact. When the quality is right, we can build up excellent supplier relationships that last for many years."
(Alexandra Mentil, Head of Procurement/Product Management)
One thing's for certain: a personal approach makes for a pleasant working atmosphere in which we collaborate as equals. This allows mutual trust to develop and creates the basis for successful, long-lasting partnerships.
Our focus on small-scale suppliers also enables us to trace the origin of the individual ingredients as closely as possible. Spatial proximity to many of our cereal farmers and mills helps us to optimise our logistics and hence reduce CO2 emissions.
Last but not least, as a small company ourselves we are naturally also keen to promote other small businesses and producers and do our bit to help them survive and prosper.
Strength in numbers
Another thing that unites us with our partners and suppliers is our common goal: together we are working to promote the spread of environment-friendly farming in Europe and beyond and making an active contribution to preserving the environment through sustainable agriculture.
Focus on small organic farmers
For many years now we've been running our own heritage cereal re-cultivation project with the aim of propagating high-quality heritage grain varieties such as einkorn and emmer wheat, spelt, rye and oats. This extensive biodiversity programme even includes our own registered wheat variety, Verival wheat, which has been re-cultivated and grown by one of our Austrian contract farmers since 2010. These ancient cereal varieties are the most valuable basic ingredient in our organic muesli creations, and there's a very good reason for that.
Tastes good – and does you good!
The cultivation of ancient cereal grains is essential in preserving biodiversity. Heritage cereals have been left in their original natural form and not modified through various breeding techniques. Their robustness and low susceptibility to disease make them particularly suitable for organic farming methods. They require no or hardly any fertiliser or pesticides in order to thrive, which conserves arable land as well as the environment.
So our Heritage Grains Mueslis do more than provide the basis for a delicious, nutritious breakfast. Our heritage cereal re-cultivation project will thus continue helping to preserve biodiversity for many years to come – so we that we can offer you an even wider range of healthy heritage cereal products in future.
Verival Heritage Grains Mueslis
Have you tried all of our Heritage Muesli varieties? Our popular Heritage Grains Muesli with Berries is an absolute must-have for all berry lovers. Those who prefer a more traditional breakfast, on the other hand, should try our Bircher Muesli. Our Heritage Grains Muesli with Fruits and Apple & Apricot Muesli deliver a pop of extra fruity goodness, while our Fruit & Nut Muesli is the perfect choice for nut fans.
To be perfectly honest, the packaging design for our mueslis, porridges and granolas has always been especially important to us here at Verival, and we have to admit that we're very proud of the results. After all, the feedback we receive about our visuals is overwhelmingly good.
It goes without saying, however, that packaging has to do a lot more than just look good. It's no coincidence that one of the most frequently asked questions about our packaging is: why are we still using plastic?
To answer that question, we'd like to take a closer look at the topic of packaging to give you a better idea of the many and complex considerations it involves.
2. "Made for Recycling" is the new "compostable packaging".
Despite all the negatives associated with plastic, given the need to keep food products fresh for as long as possible there are currently still no ecologically viable alternatives.
Conventional plastic vs. so-called biodegradable packaging
Cellulose film, the compostable alternative to plastic currently available on the market, is theoretically biodegradable, though definitely not in your home biowaste bin or compost heap. That's because neither of those produce the amount of heat required for the material to break down properly. If it is disposed of with conventional biowaste, it cannot decay and forms a sticky mass. And if the correct waste disposal facilities are unavailable, it cannot be said to be a sustainable solution.
Recycling is the future
We're absolutely convinced of that. Because the aim must be to prolong the lifecycle of existing materials for as long as possible, so that fewer resources are consumed to produce new materials. Our key criterion when selecting packaging is thus recyclability, and we're delighted that our breakfast products have been awarded the "Made for Recycling" quality seal.
What does "Made for Recycling" mean?
"Made for Recycling" is an official quality seal for packaging that has been optimised for recycling. The packaging is evaluated on the basis of a standardised system of criteria developed by environmental services provider Interseroh together with the bifa environmental institute and verified by experts at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV). The evaluation looks at the entire after-life process chain, including collection, sorting, recycling and reprocessing of the packaging material.
3. Know your ingredients.
No matter whether you're a long-term follower of our brand, tried your first Verival breakfast very recently, or have only just found out about us, you're sure to have lots of questions about our products. We try to answer the most important ones on our packaging, so you can find all relevant information at a glance while you're still in the supermarket.
4. Use every millimetre.
The tiniest detail can make a big difference, so in the past year, as well as making a few visual improvements to our products, we've also changed something else about our packaging.
Although the content has remained exactly the same, we've reduced the width of all our muesli, porridge and granola packs by about 3 millimetres so we can fit more packs onto each pallet.
The table demonstrates the impact of this small adjustment. It shows the number of packs of granola and porridge in a lorryload before and after optimisation:
|Number of packs transportable before optimisation|| |
Number of packs transportable after optimisation
|Improvement in %|
|Porridge||31.680||38.016||+ 20 %|
|Granola||27.720||33.264||+ 20 %|
It is now possible to transport 20% more packs of both products in each lorryload. This minor adjustment, which as likely as not went unnoticed, ensures optimum utilisation of the space available on transport pallets, which in turn has a very positive impact on our carbon footprint.
5. Let people see inside.
Wherever space allows, all of our bag-in-box packs have a transparent window that allows you to see whether you like the look of our muesli in the supermarket before you buy. After all, we eat with our eyes, as the saying goes.
6. We aim to be first.
Packaging and recycling is one of the sectors where a lot is happening is right now. Our policy is thus to keep a close eye on developments so we can be first when it comes to further optimising the recyclability of our packaging.
"The way we eat has a major impact on our own health as well as on the environment. Minor changes in consumer behaviour and supporting organic farming can both go a very long way. That is the focus of our day-to-day efforts."
What our CEO, Wolfgang Fojtl, is talking about here is the role diet plays in two crucial issues: global health and protecting the environment, which are the twin pillars of a recent concept known as the Planetary Health Diet.
What do we mean by the Planetary Health Diet?
The „Planetary Health Diet“ is a guide to the optimum diet – for people and the planet – and is the result of a comprehensive international study initiated by the non-profit start-up EAT. The diet aims to help reduce widespread health problems like heart disease and diabetes while simultaneously taking care of the resources available on our planet.
Promoting a healthy, environment-friendly diet
A way of eating that's good for you and good for the environment
So it's a set of rules that tells you what's allowed on your plate and what isn't? It might sound complicated and possibly quite daunting at first, but in fact it's really quite simple. According to the Planetary Health Diet, half of the food on your plate should always be fruit and vegetables. The other half should mainly consist of wholegrain cereals, plant proteins such as pulses and nuts, unsaturated plant oils, small amounts of meat and dairy products and some added sugars and starchy vegetables. The diet is flexible, though, and can be adapted to personal needs and preferences – which also makes it suitable for different cultures, as well as for vegetarians and vegans.
Promoting workplace diversity and women in management
"If you want happy customers, make sure you've got happy staff," , is one of the guiding principles of our CEO Wolfgang Fojtl. Here at Verival we deliberately put the focus on people and endeavour to create the best possible working conditions for everyone. This is reflected in the long-standing loyalty of our staff. Many of our employees have accompanied us on our journey for over two decades now, and have played a major part in co-shaping the Verival brand.
"These days, women should no longer have to choose between career ambitions and family life. As a modern employer, we do our utmost to provide optimum support for working mothers so that they are able to combine the two," says Sylvia Tomek, our Head of Sales. A mother of two herself, Sylvia shares her experience with young mothers forging a career in our company. Because women have a special place here at Verival. We endeavour to cater for individual needs and offer suitable family-friendly solutions such as part-time or work-from-home options. And our efforts have been rewarded, with an impressive 70 per cent of our management positions occupied by women.
We love diversity
... and not just on the breakfast table. Because we're firmly convinced that the success of a company lies in the colourful diversity of its staff. Our experience has shown that a mix of different generations and cultural influences produces a fruitful abundance of different ideas and perspectives. This diversity enriches the way we work and ultimately our products too.
What types of packaging does Verival use?
Let's start with an overview of all the different packaging types and materials we use for our breakfast products:
- a clear plastic bag for our extra-large packs, flaked products and single-portion packs
- a plastic bag inside a folded cardboard box for our standard-size packs of muesli, porridge and granola and our seed mixes
- outer cardboard boxes to provide stability during transport and for shipping of orders from our online shop
- recycled cardboard filler for packaging of orders from our online shop
Verival packaging: 6 key considerations
- Best be on the safe side. And keep the contents fresh for longer.
- "Made for Recycling" is the new "compostable packaging".
- Know your ingredients.
- Use every millimetre.
- Let people see inside.
- We aim to be first.
1. Best be on the safe side. And keep the contents fresh for longer.
The main purpose of packaging is obviously to protect the contents from external damage for as long as possible. And (unfortunately) plastic is still the material that best fulfils that purpose.
It protects the contents from moisture and microorganisms and forms a barrier between food and the environment. In this way, optimum shelf life can be guaranteed - a requirement that is also extremely relevant for reasons of sustainability. After all, the sooner a food product reaches its best-before date, the sooner it will be disposed of.
Global food waste is a significant contributor to climate change. Around a third of all food worldwide is thrown away, despite the fact that more of the planet's natural resources are consumed every year than its ecosystems can replenish – some of them for the production of that very same food.
To cut a long story short: packaging decisions always involve some kind of trade-off. Do we want to use biodegradable packaging materials and thus reduce the shelf life of mueslis and other breakfast products? Or do we continue to use conventional plastic, even though it doesn't start to break down for several hundred years?
Verival is a Green Brand
We're proud to have been awarded the GREEN BRAND quality seal for the second time in 2020. The Green Brand quality seal is a registered EU certification mark for eco-friendly, sustainable brands. Its rigorous testing, validation and control procedures are performed by accredited institutes, ensuring that all brands carrying the seal make an active and effective contribution to protecting the environment, the climate and wildlife as well as conserving our precious natural resources.
Bees and blossoms
Since 2018 we've been supporting the bee conservation project Hektar Nektar with their PROJEKT 2028 initiative, which aims to increase Austria's bee population by 10 per cent within 10 years by providing targeted support to beekeepers. Organic farming already plays a major role in helping to conserve bees, and with our commitment to Hektar Nektar we are going another step further in our contribution to bee conservation. The importance of our insect friends was underestimated for far too long, but now it is generally accepted: without bees, people would struggle to survive.
Palm oil-free breakfast range
We guarantee that you won't find palm oil in any of our breakfast products – we prefer to use sunflower oil instead. Why? Palm oil cultivation is having a devastating impact on the environment, with more and more rainforest with its precious habitat for large numbers of animal and plant species being lost to increasingly vast palm oil plantations. The industry also has a huge carbon footprint. For more information, see our blog article „5 reasons why we do not use palm oil at Verival“.
10 tips on how to produce less waste
We all know that it is important for the environment to avoid waste. What sounds complicated, however, is actually not. In this blog post we will introduce you to simple methods of how you can produce less waste without much effort and thus do something good for the environment. 1. Use up leftovers Did you […]Read post
Tips and tricks for a sustainable Christmas
What we actually wish for during Christmas season is relaxation and deceleration. But the Christmas hustle often doesn’t allow it. Less is more – this does not apply to the month of December. But in the end, it is us who pulls the strings on how we spend our time, how much we indulge in […]Read post
A healthier and more sustainable start into the day with your organic Verival breakfast
As you probably know, we only use ingredients from selected organic farms for our breakfast products. But why do we do this? Clearly organic cultivation is not only better for the environment, but it is also healthier for us humans! Organic cultivation does not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Moreover, great attention is paid […]Read post
Some thoughts on sustainability
And suddenly certain doubts come creeping in about our daily habits. Is it sustainable? – This question comes to our minds more and more often. Sustainability has become a huge topic which arises when we shop, travel, choose our means of transport, live, invest or even vote. The question of sustainability now comes up in […]Read post
How sustainable are plant-based drinks really?
Oat, almond, soy, rice, coconut drinks and many other varieties are becoming more and more popular. They belong to the group of plant-based milk alternatives and have become an indispensable part of every supermarket. Vegetable drinks are milk substitutes, but an EU directive states that the word milk may no longer be used for them. […]Read post
How you can use your food leftovers creatively and deliciously
Did you know that one third of all foods produced is thrown away? We all probably know it too well when we prepared a portion of food too big for us to eat at once and it slowly loses its crispness or beautiful color. Even if leftovers often don’t look as appealing as they did […]Read post
How to make different plant-based drinks yourself
Having less cow’s milk and switching to plant-based alternatives has really become more popular in the last years. We believe that plant-based drinks can be easily integrated into breakfast and is also another step towards more sustainability. Whether with porridge, muesli or crunchy, delicious plant-based drinks simply go with everything. In this blog post, we […]Read post
What does organic mean?
Organic. Well known and to be seen in every supermarket. Organic has become a universal term for healthy and sustainable food. As a manufacturer of organic breakfast, it is of course particularly important to us. However, many people buy organic products and try to live “organically” without really knowing what is hidden behind the term. […]Read post
5 reasons why we do not use palm oil at Verival
What is palm oil? Palm oil is extracted from the fruits of the oil palm. It originated in the rainforests of West Africa before it came to Asia in the 19th century. Today, the oil palm is mainly found in Indonesia and Malaysia as the tropical climate there provides the ideal growing conditions for the […]Read post
Heritage grains for breakfast
Heritage grains are very trendy at the moment and are also celebrated as a real innovation! Strange, in fact, when you consider that these grains are over ten thousand years old. Perhaps this is the case due to a rethinking in our society, because the desire for sustainability, naturalness, authenticity and tradition is apparently becoming […]Read post
3 reasons why we are striking for the climate
“Don’t panic, go organic!” With this message we from Verival are also taking part in the global climate strike in Vienna today on the 27th September 2019, because the climate is an issue that concerns us all. We are convinced that every small step in the direction of a climate-friendly and sustainable world is an […]Read post
Breakfast on the go: the best containers
Home is where the heart is and your breakfast table is simply everywhere, where you decide to bring your breakfast! There are countless places where you can enjoy your breakfast: on a park bench in the sun, between notebook and to-do list at your desk in the office, in a quiet corner at the Uni […]Read post
You can find a lot of interesting facts about sustainability on our blog:
Verival and the Planetary Health Diet
In terms of our daily work here at Verival, it firstly means optimising our business operations with a view to producing healthy, premium-quality organic food products with the smallest possible carbon footprint. On the other hand, however, we also see it as our task to help explain to people what a healthy, environment-friendly diet looks like and the gradual steps every single one of us can take to adapt how we eat with a view to eventually achieving that goal. You'll find an array of tips and tricks and lots of other useful info to inspire you in our blog.