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Camposol works to defend water resources

Camposol works to defend water resources

Camposol is striving to reduce its water footprint, as a sustainable irrigation system is one of the biggest challenges in agriculture. For five years, Camposol has worked in cooperation with SuizAgua to measure the water footprint of its blueberry, avocado and tangerine production. The company also participates in the Blue Certificate programme led by the National Water Authority (ANA), which brings together companies that execute projects to protect water resources and generate shared value through work within the community. In 2019, Camposol was Peru’s first agribusiness company to obtain the certificate. Jorge Ramírez, CEO of Camposol, said: “All these initiatives are part of our strategy to reduce our impacts on the agroecosystem.” Meanwhile, to supplement production in Peru, Camposol is extending its avocado cultivation in Colombia, where it expects to reach 40,000 tons per year by 2025, thus approaching a year-round supply.

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Agrico reaches out to the world with ‘Next Generation’ 

Agrico reaches out to the world with ‘Next Generation’ 

Agrico is a co-operative of potato growers involved in breeding, growing, collecting, processing and marketing on average 500,000 tons of potatoes a year. Two years ago, the company developed a series of potato varieties with high Phytophthora resistance which they refer to as the ‘Next Generation’ potatoes. In addition to their unique high resistance, these sustainable varieties have outstanding consumption qualities in terms of appearance, taste and versatility. These qualities make the varieties attractive for both growers and customers. 

Agrico’s portfolio has a suitable variety for practically every segment. The assortment includes Carolus, Alouette, Levante, Twister, Twinner, Ardeche and Nofy. Two more potentials are arriving that will widen the scope of traits offered by the varieties. 

Together with its subsidiaries, Agrico will demonstrate its successful contribution to sustainable potato cultivation for the ‘Next Generation’ varieties at Fruit Logistica. Visit Agrico at Hall 1.2 – D11. For more details, contact: Linda de Jong; l.de.jong@agrico.nl; +31-527639980

 

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Edeka to stock citrus with Apeel technology

Edeka to stock citrus with Apeel technology, credit. yisris, Flickr
Source: Flickr

 

The Edeka Group is extending its commitment to fighting food waste by using the innovative “Apeel” technology not just to protect its avocados but also oranges and clementines. Apeel produce has a protective layer consisting of plant-based materials that slow down water loss and penetration by oxygen – two main factors contributing to decay of fresh fruit and vegetable products.

Apeel reduces food waste and makes plastic foil unnecessary for packaging many products. Edeka is the trading partner of US-based Apeel Sciences and launched avocados with Apeel’s protective coating at selected stores at the end of 2019.

Oranges and clementines are now following suit as part of the pilot project. In the future, Apeel’s plant-derived protective coating will also ensure longer-lasting freshness of Edeka WWF oranges (1.5 kg bag), Edeka Selection oranges “NavelGold” (1 kg bag), and EDEKA Selection “ClemenGold” clementines (750 g bag).

The Apeel-protected oranges, clementines and avocados will be available in selected Edeka stores in parts of northern Germany and North-Rhine Westphalia, as well as at Netto branches in parts in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. The project foresees nationwide roll-out of these longer shelf-life products in Germany during 2020.

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Sustainable breakthrough for protecting vegetable crops

Sustainable breakthrough for protecting vegetable crops, credit. Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
© Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution

 

A ground-breaking study aimed at crop pest control has revealed for the first time that diamondback moths can be genetically engineered to produce only male offspring and survive in the wild. Caterpillars of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, are among farmers’ greatest enemies as they feast on cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers. However, the positive results of this open-field study conducted by UK company Oxitec and published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology pave the way for a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides. By ensuring that only male offspring are produced, the population of the pests is controlled and, importantly, that this strain is lost from the population over time as a self-limiting mechanism. According to the study results, the engineered males dispersed at a similar rate in the field to their wild-type counterparts.

The company has carried out several field trials of its first-generation modified mosquito strains in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands. However, the non-profit organization GeneWatch UK wrote in a 2018 report that it was not convinced of the efficacy of Oxitec’s technology. However, Oxitec responded by saying: “It ignores the body of strong science, detailed in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications carried out by scientists and scientific institutions from around the world, upon which our public health and crop protection solutions are built. As such, it has no place in reasoned scientific discourse as it was created to drum up negative, sensationalist headlines.”

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The GLOBALG.A.P. Tour stops off at Tucumán

The GLOBALG.A.P. Tour stops off at Tucumán

 

After 6 years, the certifier returns to Argentina to complete its 2019 Tour.

The province of Tucumán is the smallest in Argentina, but ranks 9th in terms of wealth generation, thanks to its excellent exportable offer, which is highly diversified, with 170 products exported to 160 countries. This is why Tucumán was chosen as the venue for the most recent edition of the GLOBALG.A.P. Tour. The first day featured conferences relating to various topics concerning production management and quality certification. The second day included field visits to companies such as Citrusvil and Tierra de Arándanos. The tour event focused on the economic benefits of good agricultural practices and introduced the latest GLOBALG.A.P. solutions, such as GLOBALG.A.P. add-ons, the Farm Assurer Program, the localg.a.p. program, GLOBALG.A.P. Livestock certification, the GLOBALG.A.P. traceability system, and the GLOBALG.A.P. FSMA PSR add-on to address the implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Good Agricultural Practices certification
is synonymous with competitiveness

In Argentina today, there are 608 companies with GLOBALG.A.P certification, and this figure is increasing. This is why the certifier partnered with the Tucumán Productive Development Institute (IDEP) to promote the products, services and benefits offered by both organisations. IDEP executive director, Dirk Trotteyn, said: “Our companies that adopt high production standards not only address aspects of food safety, but also respect and care for environmental resources, as well as the well-being of their workers.”

Vice-president of GLOBALG.A.P., Flavio Alzueta, stressed the importance of companies and producers addressing international market trends to meet a food demand that is increasingly aligned with quality and sustainability. “GLOBALG.A.P. is a platform that opens doors to compete in the main markets. Having this certification makes us more competitive. Argentina has great proactive professionals who do things well and conscientiously. There is room to grow our exports. At the same time, we must close the gap at the local level, where only 13% of fruits and vegetables are sold in the formal channel, with the rest sold informally,” said Alzueta.

IDEP launches
the “Tucumán Brand” Quality Seal

The GLOBALG.A.P. Tour was the ideal framework within which to launch the “Tucumán Brand” Quality Seal. Although the territory brand was created over 10 years ago, this latest launch offers new horizons to explore its full potential. The seal is a powerful tool that stimulates continuous improvement while also promoting values ​​linked to the sustainability of organisations. IDEP has been the main driver in building the Quality Seal and promoting its continuous improvement. It targets companies linked to primary production, the industrial sector, services, and public administration. There are currently more than 550 Argentine companies that are licensees of this hallmark.

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Marks & Spencer extends network of in-store farms

Marks & Spencer extends network of in-store farms, credit. Thomas Samson, AFP
© Thomas Samson, AFP

 

UK retailer Marks & Spencer have extended their indoor farms to six other stores in London. In partnership with vertical farming specialist, Infarm, M&S has installed hydroponic indoor units that incorporate machine learning, Internet of Things technology, and eco-controlled systems to ensure the optimum amount of light, air and nutrients are used. Growing a selection of herbs, each unit can be controlled remotely via a cloud-based platform, which learns, adjusts and continually improves to ensure each plant grows better than the last one.

Infarm’s solutions offer environmental benefits, as each unit consumes 95% less water and 75% less fertiliser than soil-based agriculture. Each unit produces the equivalent size crop to 400 square metres of farmland, with absolutely no pesticide use. M&S has announced that it plans to continue rolling out in-store farms over the coming months.

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Supplementary feeding of predatory mites with pollen yields exceptional results

Supplementary feeding of predatory mites with pollen yields exceptional results, Erik Boers, Source: Decorum (https://www.decorumplantsflowers.com/)
Erik Boers, Source: Decorum (https://www.decorumplantsflowers.com/)

 

 

Amaryllis grower Erik Boers wants to keep his crop healthy, preferably using biological crop protection. This year he made a single introduction of predatory mites to control thrips and then developed the population using Nutrimite™. He is enthusiastic about the initial results. Meanwhile the mice, which loved the bran component of his previous control strategy, have been outmanoeuvred.

At Erik Boers’ company, thrips are a regular uninvited guest. Erik grows both amaryllis bulbs and flowers on 6.5 hectares. The bulbs, which are grown in open soil, are sold for dry sales while the flowers, cultivated on clay pellets, are marketed during the winter season.

Erik is a member of the Decorum grower cooperative, which sells a fully sustainable range of flowers and plants. With all members Global- or MPS-Gap-certified at the minimum, biological crop protection fits well with the cooperative’s profile.

Closed leaf bud

Fighting disease in Amaryllis is not simple. After the flowers are harvested, the leaves appear. However, the leaf buds are initially so tightly closed that it is difficult to effectively spray them, let alone comprehensively scout for pests and beneficial insects.

“These challenges are further compounded by the fact the crop remains in the ground for three years,” explains Erik. “After harvesting the soil is steamed, parcel by parcel, so we are never able to clean the greenhouse completely – or apply optimum hygiene measures.”

Working with a Biobest competitor, three years ago Erik’s first attempted to control thrips using Amblyseius swirskii and introduced cultivation sachets several times. The sachets were filled with predatory mites, bran and factitious prey. “What we hadn’t counted on were the mice,” says Erik. “During the summer months they were attracted by the smell of the bran – I even saw them running around with sachets in their mouths! It was not a satisfactory solution, to say the least.”

Offering food

This year Eric decided to try a different biological pest control strategy in a newly replanted section of the glasshouse. He chose the Biobest strategy – featuring a combination of Swirskii-Breeding-System and Nutrimite™ – a system avoiding the need to continually reintroduce sachets. Crop Protection Specialist, Marvin Koot, advised Eric to introduce Swirskii-Breeding-System just once in early spring to develop a population of predatory mites for the entire cultivation year.

“Immediately after the flower harvest, there were insufficient thrips in the greenhouse to sustain the predatory mites,” says Marvin. “It was therefore necessary to provide the mites with sufficient food to sustain them. Our feed supplement Nutrimite™, based on specially selected pollen, has proved ideal.”

Since introducing the predatory mites, every fourteen days the team has manually blown in the pollen. “You can barely see it, but it does work,” says Erik. “In fact, it worked exceptionally well.”

Later on during the growing period, just to be sure, he introduced some loose predatory mites in one variety. While occasionally he still sees a few thrips, the pest is now well under control. “When it comes to thrips control, this ‘test’ has been a success,” says Erik. “Although it would be helpful to automate the dispersion process to simplify application.”

Cooling period

Prior to flowering, the crop is cooled and the leaves removed. At this point, both the thrips and predatory mites disappear. In theory, the predatory mites could survive this period, as they can tolerate temperatures as low as 13°C. However, before the start of flowering, growers traditionally spray against other pests which means new predatory mites need to be introduced in spring.

“As things stand, you can’t rely solely on biological crop protection,” explains Erik. “You have to occasionally take action against mealybug, narcissus mite, cicadas and caterpillars – however, we are tending more and more to go biological.”

Unique combination

Eric chose Biobest as its partner because of the unique combination of predatory mites and supplementation with pollen – a combination other suppliers do not offer. Supplementation with factitious prey does not appeal to him, because the carrier falls into the heart of the plant and bulb and can rot.

Erik is also pleased with the advice he receives from Biobest with Marvin paying regular visits every fourteen days to discuss and adjust the strategy as necessary.

“We are seeing growing interest in this strategy,” says Marvin. “This year we have added several new customers growing Amaryllis.”

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Sainsbury’s on its support for sustainable agriculture in Peruvian desert

Sainsbury’s Supports Sustainable Agriculture In The Peruvian Desert

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has higlighted in a recent blog post that as you walk through its aisles you might be surprised to find that some of its products – including asparagus, peas, beans and grapes – come from one of the world’s oldest, driest deserts in southern Peru.

“While it might sound unusual, the results are some of the successes from our partnership with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, a world famous center for botanical and mycological knowledge, as we develop the idea of ‘conservation through use’.

“We’re really proud of our work around this idea, which helps return native and threatened species to otherwise arid areas, introducing them into schools and communities to ensure sustainable, effective growing. Now two years in it’s proven really successful, not only improving farming, but integrating and maintaining delicate ecosystems to build a sustainable future for local people.

“For example, we’ve been able to introduce nitrogen-fixing trees, like Acacia species, to sufficiently improve the soil quality to grow everything from maize and Lima beans, through to guavas and cottons.

“Thanks to its success, we’ve already seen attention from across Peru and the whole community is keen to make this work. That’s why we’re delighted to say that, thanks to support from Sainsbury’s, Kew has established the first Native Plant Research and Conservation Centre. This facility is developing native seed management and propagation protocols for rare native plants at large scale, and is currently acting as a training hub and a much-needed community resource.”

The retailer said that at the heart of this lies its commitment to ensuring that its sourcing “does not have a negative impact on the local environment or communities,”

Whether it’s asparagus or guava in your basket, you’ll know that the items you buy help promote sustainable farming for local communities abroad, Sainsbury’s said.

source: Sainsbury’s blog

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Successful debut of Probelte Forum on crop protection for sustainable agriculture

A debate organised by the company ProbelteFito on use of phytosanitary products and sustainable agriculture drew an attendance of more than a hundred people in Murcia last Thursday (May 19).

A debate on use of phytosanitary products and sustainable agriculture drew an attendance of more than a hundred people in Murcia last Thursday (May 19).

Organised by the company ProbelteFito, the forum was held under the title ‘Moving towards sustainable agriculture for healthy food’ and as live streamed on video.
In a press release, ProbelteFito said the forum surveyed the current regulatory framework for use of phytosanitary products at both Spanish and European level. A comparison was made with the applicable legislation in other countries considered competitors in the fruit and vegetables market.

Much of the debate revolved around the information that reaches the consumer, which was considered sufficient but sometimes confusing, since Spain has tight control on the use of phytosanitary products this message does not always get through to consumers. “This adds to confusion in regard to organic products when the impression is given that that other foods are not healthy though in reality phytosanitary products, as expressed during the forum, are the “medicines of plants”.

Moderated by food journalist Francisco Seva, the forum included participation from Francisco Jose Gonzalez, Abelardo Hernandez, Felipe Medina, Andrés Antonio Martinez and Joaquín Ignacio Martinez, and was closed by ProbelteFito president Jose Manuel Casanova.

With over 45 years of experience in the agrifood sector, Probelte is dedicated to the manufacture and marketing of phytosanitary products, including plant protection, fertiliser and related products.

For more information: www.foroprobelte.es

 

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Probelte forum on making agriculture more sustainable

Respect for the environment and food security are at the heart of a debate in Murcia, Spain, today (May 19), organised by the company Probelte Fito.

Respect for the environment and food security are at the heart of a debate in Murcia, Spain, today (May 19), organised by the company Probelte Fito.

Under the title ‘Moving towards sustainable agriculture for healthy food’ this public forum will also share news of innovation in the field of plant protection and see experts share the latest in biotechnology and the development of low risk products, all with the aim of promoting progress towards use of increasingly ecological and sustainable agricultural products.

Specific topics covered will include current challenges in the plant protection sector from the point of view of consumers, the regulatory framework, technical requirements and farmers’ needs.

Probelte Fito is a company that promotes the reasonable use of products for plant nutrition and health in the pursuit of the sustainable production of safe, abundant and affordable quality food.

For more information: www.foroprobelte.es