Reference Regions

Reference Regions » Austrian Alps (Austria)
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Austrian Alps (Austria)

Description of the Reference Region

The ‘Weizer Bergland’ is situated at the south-eastern edge of the Austrian Alps, with a karst type of terrain. The region of Weiz is characterised by hot and dry summers with a very high propensity for (thunder-)storms. This is supposed to become stronger due to climate change, increasing the number of lightning strikes, hail and the thread of floods.

As ruminants, sheep emit more greenhouse gases per head than other livestock. Due to this and because of the relevance of the landscape for its tourism potential, sustainability is of high importance.

Selected Value Chain

Lamb from the region of Weiz is the selected value chain (VC), situated in the mountainous areas of the Weizer Bergland, where pasture farming with cattle and sheep for meat and dairy production prevails. The sheep are herded either on alpine pastures or on meadows at an altitude of 400 to 1270 metres above sea level.

The sheep farmers in the region, process and distribute their products via a cooperative that comprises approximately 300 farms, most of them selling lamb meat.

However, the wool is barely used commercially, and only some of the sheep farmers are ambitious enough to further explore innovative ways of generating value from the wool. Currently, a LEADER project including research partners is focusing on the use of sheep wool in palliative therapy in order to explore its usability and therapeutic effectiveness.

Within the scope of MOVING, the potential for creating higher value for the wool will be explored.

Multi-Actor Platform (MAP) members

The platform brings together different stakeholders such as representatives of regional development (LEADER and other structures), the cooperative of sheep farmers from the region of Weiz, public authorities, other farmers, innovators and regional business actors, as well as interest groups.

Publications & events

Practice Abstract (2nd set): The importance of cooperation for sheep pasture farming in the region of Weiz (EN & DE)

Video: Vulnerability and resilience of the lamb from the region of Weiz

Policy Brief: Lamb from the region of Weiz

Practice Abstract (1st set): The strength of cooperation: sheep farmers cooperative in the region of Weiz (EN & DE)


Sandra Karner
Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture

David Steinwender
Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture.