The farmhouse inn association
the association des fermes-aubergges du haut-rhin is a non-profit association which was created in 1971 on the initiative of the farmer and innkeepers themselves, in particular by a small group from the petit-ballon massif, under the impetus of the chamber of agriculture. it was founded on the principle of dual activity, agricultural and tourist, giving rise to a new agro-tourism concept. today it federates 41 establishments.
The Haut-Rhin association quickly distinguished itself from the national movement in order to preserve its particularities such as transhumance or the maintenance of more than 80 ha of mountain meadows for certain farms. The association of farm inns in the Haut-Rhin therefore defined its own charter in 1992. The rules of procedure and the charter are based on four precise and essential criteria: the welcome, the products, the menu and the setting.
The aim of the association is to bring together and mobilise farm innkeepers in order to define a coherent and structured development policy.
In 1974, during the Lapoutroie congress, the name “farm inn” took on a national dimension by becoming a formula for diversification of the farm. Based on this example, nearly 900 farm inns were created throughout the national rural territory, but the farm inn concept in the Haut-Rhin remained a local specificity, mainly contained within the perimeter of mountain areas, because its s,pastoral activity maintains more than 3500 hectares while preserving the biodiversity of the high stubble field a unique biological entity in Europe.
The use of the name “ferme-auberge” in the Haut-Rhin department is subject to compliance with the revised charter of 2001 and its internal regulations. The attribution, maintenance or suppression of the approval is examined by the approval and control commission set up by the association
From the old to the new charter
The evolution of consumer expectations and the incidents in the agri-food industry encouraged the association to reflect on the positioning and supply of farm inns, taking into account the history of the concept and the function of welcoming tourists to mountain areas, while ensuring the economic viability of farming methods based on multiple activities.
This reflection led the association to draft a new charter in 2001. The objectives are as follows
- to reinforce the use of farm products and local specialities in the catering offer,
- to initiate new collaborations between local producers and farmer and innkeepers,
- to meet the expectations of the clientele,
- to face the crisis of confidence in the food industry.
This new charter defines precisely what a farmhouse inn is in the Haut-Rhin: the farm, the status of the operator, its location and capacity, the operating conditions (reception, products, menus, setting and environment), the operator’s commitments and the terms of application.