«Sustainable,» «environmentally friendly,» «climate neutral»… All are concepts that have quickly permeated business terminology, reflecting a real concern for reducing the impact of human activity on the environment, which is particularly noticeable in the agri-food sector, among others.

 

Integrating environmental care into food production processes is already a way of life for many companies, but it has also led to some confusion regarding terminology and to greenwashing practices that will hopefully be completely banished in the coming years. 

 

 

Watch the video about our specialisation in sustainable almond growing

 

 

 

 

Against this background, agri-food companies must not only be able to work «thinking green,» but must also clearly explain what they do to be sustainable, how they care for their relationship with the countryside, and what concrete actions these policies translate into. In short, they must be able to answer a question:  What Are We (Really) Talking About When We Talk About Sustainable Agriculture?

 

Adopting a sustainable agriculture model involves, first of all, detecting the environmental impact that our activities can produce, according to studies by reference bodies such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) or the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

 

According to said organisations, activities such as nut cultivation can affect natural soil conditions, lead to a loss of biodiversity or involve significant water use. On this basis, together with our own environmental footprint studies, we decided to join the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) and employ their good agricultural practices manuals for our processes.

 

 

Sustainable Agriculture

 

 

We have therefore worked with a methodology that includes regenerative agriculture actions, agricultural integration and protocols to reduce the use of active substances, as well as to minimise water use and ensure soil fertility.

 

On the other hand, to prevent soil erosion associated with agricultural activity, we work to protect the soil by including crop rotation techniques, as well as covers made up of spontaneous vegetation and flora typical of each ecosystem, thanks to which we reduce the volume of fertilisers used.

 

By following these practices, the amount of pesticides used on the almond tree farms we work with in Spain and Portugal has been reduced by 60%, implementing a pest management system that respects the so-called «useful insects» and favours the biological control of harmful organisms.

 

 

You may also be interested in our Importaco Terra section.

 

 

In addition, to contribute to maintaining the biological balance in the fields where we work, we install shelters and drinking troughs for birds, reptiles and rodents, thus preserving the biodiversity of the area.

 

All these actions are carried out in parallel with the implementation of regulated irrigation practices, which optimise water consumption and promote a rational and fully controlled use of water.

 

And yet, regardless of the scale of these actions, it is important that they are backed by independent certifying bodies. We can therefore speak with confidence about our work in sustainable agriculture, having achieved the GLOBALG.A.P. 5.2 certification in all our plantations in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as being the producers of the first almonds in Spain that achieved a silver level according to the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) standard. And with an eye to the future, we are developing our own peanut production project in Argentina, thanks to which, we will be able to guarantee this product’s superior quality with the highest sustainability standards.

 

 

agricultura sostenible

 

 

Clear talk about sustainable agriculture is important both for the food industry and for society as a whole. Disclosing which forms of production and processes are respectful of our planet undoubtedly helps to highlight the commitment of farmers, producers and distributors who support them, and provides consumers with more decision-making tools. As awareness of phenomena such as climate change and desertification of ecosystems increases, more and more players in the food industry are embracing new models of sustainable agriculture. We would therefore like to welcome you and ask you to share their experience.

 

Let us ask a different question: Are we talking enough about sustainable agriculture?

 

 

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Sources: Memoria Sostenibilidad Importaco

 

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