Business Cooperation Wiberg and EcoHimal

For more than 20 years EcoHimal, the Society for Alpine Himalayas, has been active in the highest mountains of the world to improve the living conditions of the mountain farmers, reduce poverty, protect nature and create new forms of income. This now seems to succeed in an exemplary way with an economic partnership project, which is financially supported by the Austrian Development Agency.

"EcoHimal has been working since 1992 in the impassable mountain regions of Nepal, supporting farmers in agriculture, setting up cooperatives and helping with the marketing of products. For example, the farmers in Makalu-Barun National Park have an excellent cardamom, which they now sell at a favourable price to the Salzburg spice producer WIBERG.

Farming 4 Health, a small company based in Kathmandu, is responsible for local logistics, EcoHimal for development policy tasks such as improving infrastructure and, together with WIBERG, training farmers to ensure quality in the long term. WIBERG has already invested in drying plants, for example, to ensure that the cardamom retains all of its aroma and is not contaminated, thus meeting the highest quality standards. The financial support comes from the Austrian Development Cooperation in the form of start-up financing. WIBERG is thus taking a slightly lower commercial risk and, thanks to EcoHimal's expertise, is able to launch an exceptional product onto the market", says EcoHimal's chairman, Salzburg University Professor Kurt Luger.

This also applies to the second project, the red Szechuan pepper, which grows wild in Mount Everest National Park. It is picked by migrant workers, the poorest of this ethnically diverse but economically poor population of the country, which only eight years ago became a republic. Farming 4 Health and EcoHimal have involved these pickers in a project that guarantees them a certain income and some social security. Training is also provided on this product to ensure that the harvests do not cause damage to the trees, thus preserving the biodiversity of this unique nature in the long term. "The National Park Authority would never agree to this project if it were not so sensibly planned and beneficial to all those involved" - says Kurt Luger, who agrees with WIBERG owner and managing partner Marcus Winkler that such a project requires a very careful and sensitive approach to natural resources as well as to the local population. "This is also something completely new for us, our most challenging project at the moment. But the products justify its use. Our Exquisit line will be considerably enhanced by this and we expect that both products will impress the chefs just as much as they impressed me", says Marcus Winkler, who from the very beginning saw the business of working in a developing country as an interesting combination. "In this way we can also express a little bit of our global social responsibility!"

The project volume amounts to 400,000 euros and the project duration is three years.

The project was completed in 2017 and supported by the Austrian Development Agency. It will be continued with the support of Lufthansa's HelpAlliance.

The economic partnership is supported by the Austrian Development Agency.


"Arbeiten, wo der Pfeffer wächst" - Artikel in den Salzburger Nachrichten vom 20. Dez. 2014

"Wibergs Würze vom Dach der Welt" - Artikel im Wirtschaftsblatt vom 12. März 2015

Website WIBERG


EcoHimal Austria Gesellschaft für Zusammenarbeit Alpen-Himalaya
Hofhaymer Allee 11/17
5020 Salzburg
T: +43 662 829492
ZVR Zahl: 886266575

Unsere Partner