Bringing together sustainability and food safety is one of the great challenges of the agrifood industry today
This point has become a demand after the Covid-19 crisis, in which nothing from either parameters can be sacrificed. “More than ever, consumers are demanding the same as before, plus the bonus of food safety,” Alex Creixell, manager of Giropoma Costa Brava, explains.
Accordingly, this year the company from Ullá will implant new preparation technology that will allow apples to be packaged in cardboard cartons, in 4 or 6-piece formats and with visibility for consumers. They are also working with other packaging types such as flow packs and polystyrene trays, both using compostable plastics.
Outside, on the actual farms, the movement towards greater sustainability also prevails through biological control which, in some cases, such as for carpocapsa or oriental fruit moth, reaches 100% coverage of the surface area. All of this is completed with an irrigation system that minimises the water used per tree and of which there are over 30 stations amongst the members of the firm.
The campaign that the entity is about to start meets the main trend in Catalonia: a general decrease in productions, which affects the different regions to different degrees. Specifically, and by variety, for the company on the Costa Brava, the largest drops will occur in the Fuji variety, which could reach 30%. The rest of varieties have not been affected by the weather conditions and the drop will be around 10%.
In spite of the fact that the sector has reached these dates with the cold rooms almost empty due to the important upswing in sales during the lockdown, Creixell comments that “we continue to have stocks throughout the year because our sales are clearly mapped out and organised for the distribution and we must have produce available twelve months of the year. The most common case is that of the Golden variety, which we supply all year long.”
“In order to maintain this sales dynamic, from the firm itself, we guide our members about the varieties that they should plant and we even help them financially,” the executive concludes.