Agrofair bananas towards integral sustainable label with pesticide footprint tool

AgroFair started in 1996 with the import and distribution of Oké bananas from Latin America to supermarkets in Europe. AgroFair was interested in finding out whether pesticide-related toxic impacts could be quantified and made visible to retailers and consumers, and ultimately used for differentiation and to create a competitive advantage. There are large differences between farms in the number of pesticides used, the geography and the climate and soil conditions. To find out whether toxic impacts can be a differentiating factor, AgroFair consulted PRé to develop a user-friendly tool that quantifies the toxic impact of pesticides on humans and freshwater ecosystems.

Profiling your product in a sea of labels

How do you differentiate your product in terms of sustainability when all similar products are also covered by a sustainability label? In a philosophical sense, this is a great problem to have; the world all sustainability labels and companies are striving for. In a business sense, it is an opportunity to look for environmental impacts that the current sustainability labels don’t cover, and to start the ball rolling to the next level of sustainable production.
 

Pesticide footprint tool for banana production

This is exactly what AgroFair did. A large importer of bananas, AgroFair ran into the situation that nearly all bananas are now sold with some kind of sustainability claim. To find out whether toxic impacts from pesticide use can be a differentiating factor, AgroFair and PRé collaborated to develop Pesticide Footprint, a user-friendly tool to easily assess the impact of pesticide use on human health and freshwater ecosystems. Since banana production varies tremendously in its pesticide use, this turned out to be a valuable idea. PRé did a case study of three different farms, finding large differences in toxic impacts. Additionally, the AgroFair team received training to use the tool to generate more pesticide footprints, so they now have the in-house capacity to gain insights that can help improve their stakeholder collaboration and customer communications. For more information, please read the full case study.

Laura Golsteijn

Consultant

I am eager to increase the environmental awareness of our society, and I believe that everyone can contribute to a more sustainable world, every day. At PRé we provide companies with both the knowledge and the tools to improve their products and services. I am excited to work for an organisation that is involved in developing sustainable initiatives.

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