Pesticides in almonds’ cultivation, Alfrus says no
The use of pesticides entails risks to the environment and to the consumers’ health. For this reason, from some time, Alfrus choose to work hard in order to significantly reduce the use of phytopharmaceutical products in almonds’ farms from which it supplies.
As a company which is engaged in almonds’ processing, we have decided to follow the path of eco-sustainability with conviction. A path that also means cultivations that are respectful of nature, for a safer product for our end consumers.
As a matter of fact, eco-sustainability and food security are two sides of the same coin. And we, operators in the sector, are required to a clear commitment for a pesticides free future.
The road has been traced, in fact, the sensibility of the market to this particular theme grows in Italy, in Europe and in the world. But the use of synthetic chemical substances still is very high. The reasons are mainly three. Pesticides ensure high product quality and productivity standards by protecting crops from harmful plants, insects and fungi. So the use of chemicals in agriculture makes the product cheaper, delays its deterioration and also improves the appearance offered to the consumer.
But if these are the pros, the cons in terms of environmental costs and food safety are much worse.
It has been shown, in fact, that pesticides cause:
– Damage to terrestrial and marine ecosystems with widespread and persistent pollution in sprayed areas, including contamination in the water table
– Massive killing of beneficial insects such as pollinators
– Long-term danger to consumer’s health
Currently, Boscalid, Imazalil, Fludioxinil and Acetamiprid are the pesticides most commonly found as residues in food. On the other hand, the use of Glyphosate has decreased significantly.
The exposure to these chemical products affects field application personnel. But not only. The chemical substances used in agriculture are spread in the environment, contaminating it and damaging the ecosystem and, finally, they reach the human organism as residues, settling. The damages to the health can occur years later.
Yet, alternative solutions to the widespread and indiscriminate use of these toxic substances do exist and must be supported and encouraged. We refer to correct agronomic management practices, the use of competitive organisms and the application of innovative technologies.
The benefits are in terms of productivity and quality, the ecosystem’s protection and food safety.
At Alfrus, we have chosen integrated agriculture in order to produce quality almonds, with the least environmental impact possible. We prove our commitment by sensitizing our suppliers and performing regular on-site audits in order to to verify the cultivation techniques implemented on our almonds.
On the regulatory side, individual States and international Bodies are discouraging the use of phytosanitary products. We refer, first of all, to the European Union’s regulatory framework: from the European Directive 128/2009 which required Member States to adopt National Action Plans for the sustainable use of pesticides, to the Regulation No. 396/2005 which regulated the maximum limit of residue that can be tolerated in food. The same regulatory process was launched in the United States and particularly in California, the first country to export almonds in the whole world. An example of this is the Californian Law that imposed the registration of all the used pesticides, to the Californian Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). In addition, a pollinator protection law has come into force in California, as part of the “Bee Where” initiative.
Thus, strategic policies are growing in order to achieve the goals of United Nations 2030 Agenda, which look out for the protection of the planet, in addition to consumers’ health and safety.
From our side, we made our choice: we stand on nature’s side and we want an almond which is completely free from pesticides.
27 January 2022