More sustainability for domestic apples and pears

Source: Fresh Plaza

Migros is launching a sustainability program for the cultivation of Swiss apples and pears. Specific pesticides will be banned in the future, and their use must also be reduced overall. Through this program, the Swiss retailer wants to both protect the environment and promote biodiversity.

The topic of pesticides is currently the subject of controversial debate. Keywords: bee mortality, loss of biodiversity, adverse health effects, quality of groundwater. Migros therefore wants to address the issue proactively. The new sustainability program for conventional pome fruit cultivation has the following goals:

  • The use of pesticides will be reduced: On the one hand, certain sprays will be banned, on the other hand, the use of the agents is to be more targeted. To this end, alternative methods are being promoted. Examples include netting the plants or the confusion method, which prevents insects from reproducing.
  • Biodiversity in orchards is actively increased: This can take the form of nest boxes, rows of flowers in the tramlines, rock piles, or other measures.
  • Soil quality is improved: targeted measures such as the application of compost or the use of wide tires on agricultural vehicles promote the vitality and fertility of the soil.

The program works in the same way as a modular system. Producers can choose the measures best suited to their farm. A minimum score must be achieved in each of the three categories mentioned above.

New standards in agriculture
Migros developed the program in close cooperation with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and innovative producers. Together, the aim is to forge a more sustainable path in the cultivation of apples and pears. “Politicians’ and consumers’ expectations of pome fruit producers are constantly rising. Migros is therefore supporting producers in switching to more sustainable cultivation methods. Many of them have already done a lot to reduce the harmful input of pesticides into the environment.”

“With the program, we now want to offer all producers the opportunity to take such steps by supporting them with expertise and financially,” says Erwin Büsser, Head of Fruits and Vegetables at the Federation of Migros Cooperatives.

Migros pays all producers an additional contribution of 3 centimes per kilogram of apples and pears. The program has been implemented gradually since the beginning of the year. The more sustainable pome fruit will thus be available in Migros from September.

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