Bioigel cargo bike

Please eat the pears first!

A start-up in Lower Austria, called Bioigel (translated it means organic hedgehog) brings together organic food and sustainable logistics. All sorts of fruit and veg are delivered by cargo bike to Viennese offices and households.

"What is an icicle?" asks colleague D., while colleague C. washes a carrot and colleague B. bites an apple with relish. Raw vegetables are on the menu for lunch today - organic and regional. Last week the order was placed online, on Monday morning the crate was delivered by cargo bike to the front door. On Thursday the icicles - a kind of garden radish - were still stuck in the soil of Lower Austria.

Organically, regionally or fairly produced products are “en vogue”. Eight out of ten Austrians offer to buy organic fruit and vegetables.The range of organic food on supermarket shelves is becoming more and more varied, farmers' markets and delivery services offer more and more opportunities to buy organic food. Organic farming makes a sustainable contribution to preserving a healthy environment: It improves soil quality, ensures the purity of drinking water and protects the climate.

Regional and organic

For the start-up Bioigel, the organic concept goes beyond the type of cultivation. "Our vision does not end with food. We try to make every step resource-conserving. That is why we do our utmost to avoid packaging material and use recyclable or compostable materials. An important part of our concept is, of course, the delivery to the apartment door. This is where we can now deliver about half of our deliveries with cargo bikes - in cooperation with “Heavy Pedals," – a Viennese cargo bike delivery company - explains Michaela Steinberger from Bioigel.

Delivery by cargo bike

Transport thus also contributes to climate protection. According to a study by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Raum- und Luftfahrt), 23 percent of all truck journeys in cities could be replaced by transport bicycles every day (according to a study from the EU project cyclelogistics.eu the number is 25 percent and a recent study from Prof. Bogdanski at the University of Nurmeberg even set the number to 33 percent). This would significantly reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Especially in cities, the cargo bike is proving itself more and more as a fast, reliable and cost-effective means of transport.

Bioigel was founded in 2014 by four friends in Tresdorf, Lower Austria. For five years now, the company has been supplying fruit and vegetables from controlled organic farming directly to around 300 households. The assortment comes exclusively from the region and corresponds to the principle of seasonality. "Rich, high-quality food, which may be quite "a little earthy", says Steinberger.

"We should eat the pears first," says colleague D. and reads the postcard with a personal message in our Bioigel office box. Of course, they are ripe and don't last that long. As soon as the pears, apples and carrots are eaten and the office organic box is empty, we return the box - there is a deposit system- and have it filled up again

Climate change and rising traffic volumes are urgent environmental problems. According to the Microcensus Environment of Statistics Austria, all Austrians - all income groups - feel this way. And to counteract climate change, even changes on a small scale, for example consuming food that is not only locally grown but also delivered in a sustainable way.