The producers of the PGI Poma de Girona are showing their optimism about the different projects on the 2030 European Agenda and they are studying their incorporation.
During this decade, the 3 companies that make up the PGI Poma de Girona (Giropoma, Fructícola de l’Empordà and Girona Fruits) will concentrate their goals on the new policy that Europe has brought to the table on the subject of food and the environment, known as ‘Farm to Fork’, which involves a reduction of inputs in the production processes and a transition towards a larger surface area for ecological crops.
“From our limited production area, we are familiar with all these principles. In fact, we can say that they are in our DNA as producers, because we have been implementing sustainability steps for many years now,” according to the chairman of PGI Poma de Girona, Llorenç Frigola.
Thus, the executive explains, “we continue planning an in-depth variety and rootstock renewal aimed at producing, if possible, with even fewer inputs.”
The new varieties from the HCBP programme (“Hot Climate Breeding Program”) are a clear example of these principles, which, as they are better adapted to the current climate in the region (hotter summers and milder winters), they will allow producers to reduce the use intensity of the different inputs even more.
“The training and production systems for the new trees mean less consumption of diesel; that is to say, we are in line with the decarbonisation process being advocated by Europe. Additionally, they will need less water and other inputs,” Frigola adds.
“We will reduce the environmental footprint in terms of production, but this must not be the only target, since, as defenders of the rural environment, we are committed to the territory and to the profitability of its productions; however, this makes no sense when we, on the production side, make a great effort with these compliances, and then large volumes of apples are imported from abroad, meaning a gratuitous release of CO2 during their transport.”
“Consumers ought to have certain principles when choosing produce on the supermarket shelves, as already happens in other countries. This doesn’t mean that they cannot buy foreign fruit and vegetables, but rather that it should not become the norm. And this principle should also be followed by the purchasing managers themselves in the supermarkets when choosing their suppliers.”
With respect to the Biodiversity 2030 strategy, based on the fulfilment of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) set forth by the United Nations, which emphasise the protection and increase in surface areas with ecosystems, Frigola comments that the productions form the PGI Poma de Girona have always taken their geographic value into serious consideration, with the conservation of the different ecosystems, “because these productions take place very close to two important nature parks and also near the sea, in a territory with ecosystems of high value, where we encourage the protection of the soil.”
In general lines, “the European projects could be highly beneficial, both due to the internal transfer of knowledge in the sector and to the anchoring of our producers in their surroundings, which will result in social improvements for the entire chain, from production to consumption.”