Harvard recommends working with an avocado company that adheres to sustainable agriculture. But finding a supplier who’s committed to sustainable farming practices may be a hassle.
In this article, we introduce you to FrutPlanet’s sustainable farming practices. We’ll explain how our avocado company is making a difference among farmers who we source avocados from.
If you haven’t heard about us, FrutPlanet is a leading exporter of fruits and vegetables. One of our major export products is avocados, that we export globally. We source avocados from partner farmers and help buyers with the logistics.
We train the farmers we source from through sustainable farming practices that align with our buyers and industry. Below are some of the sustainable farming practices we train our farmers on.
Practice 1: Water Conservation
Our avocado company is keen on sustainable farming, and one way we sensitize to this is through water conservation. We hold bi-monthly seminars to sensitize farmers on water security and risks. We aim to ensure farmers understand these risks and their impact on human health.
Our seminar in the last quarter of 2022 discussed the CDP Worldwide report of 2019 on global water broadly. The report discusses broadly the business value of water mismanagement and pollution. It projects the impact of these to be over $425 Billion.
The main focus was mainly on the reports by 45% of respondents. They reported that water security threatened their production, supply chain, financial stability, and ability to scale. But we don’t share the problems without showing remedies.
Our agricultural experts recommend efficient water management techniques that minimize water wastage. Some of the techniques they shared include drip irrigation systems. They presented an actionable manual on how farmers can implement drip irrigation on avocado farms.
In addition, we advised farmers to implement water monitoring technologies that optimize water application on plant needs. Our seminars on water conservation are contributing greatly to the conservation of this valuable resource.
Practice 2: Soil Health and Conservation
Irrespective of how we interpret it, soil health influences avocado productivity and sustainability. Our engagements with avocado farmers on soil health have helped reduce soil erosion, improved nutrient distribution, and optimized water infiltration. Our partner farmers also confirm that our guidance on farm practices helped them save money on inputs and improve land productivity in the number of avocados per acre.
FrutPlanet exporter’s campaign on soil health hasn’t been influenced by the need to improve our farmers’ production alone. Our avocado company also wants to be part of the global fight against climate change. And the only weapon within our reach as pioneers in the export industry are working with farmers committed to agricultural sustainability.
Our experts extensively presented the implementation of practices that enhance soil health and prevent soil erosion. Some of the remedies we advised and showcased include utilizing cover crops below avocado plants such as grass, and sweet potatoes, among others. These are plants that thrive even with less sunlight due to plant shades.
And even though implementing proper crop rotation when producing avocados is slightly off, we discussed it too. Instead, our experts advised implementing rotation on cover crops to ensure nutrient distribution. We also train farmers to employ mulching techniques on their avocado plants, especially in their early development stages.
Our follow-up calls with the trained farmers confirm that our training on soil health is impactful. Farmers confirm that these practices improved the overall farm fertility and production, reduced production costs by eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers, and prevented nutrient leaching.
Practice 3: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Our efforts on sustainable farming practices for avocados are deep into pest management. We aim to produce only organic avocados and reduce our farmer’s reliance on chemical solutions. Chemical pest management solutions pose a problem to human health and damage soil health in the long term.
At FrutPlanet, we train our farmers to adopt an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. It is an environmentally sensitive remedy for pest management. The technique implements pest life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment to create practices that manage pests.
The aim is to manage pests and diseases without using pesticides and, as a result, produce organic foods. But how do these programs work?
- Set Thresholds: This step identifies pest populations needing control and how they affect avocado production. We assess the threat, considering that not all pests are harmful.
- Monitoring and Identifying Pests: Most farmers need to be more informed that all weeds and pests are bad for agricultural production. Well, some are shockingly beneficial. In this step, we train our farmers to monitor and identify them accurately. This is the most important step in the program. Farmers also decide on remedies and the need for prevention in this step.
- Prevention: This stage aims to assess whether the insects the farmer found in the identification and monitoring stage pose any threat. The farmer decides on the best prevention mechanisms if it’s a threat. Some options we recommend to farmers are pest-resistant avocado varieties and rotation of the cover crops. We prioritize risk-free and cost-efficient control methods.
- Control: Lack of effectiveness in pest prevention indicates a need for pest control. We advise and train the farmers on how first to evaluate the control options and pick the most effective that presents the least risk. The control methods include biological control methods, natural predators, and beneficial insects. We train our farmers to disrupt pest mating and mechanical control like traps and weeding.
More often than not, IPM works most in cases with our farmers. However, we advise targeted pesticide spraying in cases where the less risky methods don’t work. Broadcast spraying is never a choice; it’s a last resort.
IPM principles are endorsed by the United States government in the Environmental Protection Agency’s IPM Principles and the IPM Plan by the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya. This approach maintains a balanced ecosystem and minimizes environmental and farmers’ health risks.
Practice 4: Biodiversity Preservation
Biodiversity preservation has been helpful, especially in IPM. Biodiversity conservation is creating an environment that promotes diversity of existence. It promotes the preservation of diverse species, a sustainable ecosystem and species’ existence, and the maintenance of life support systems.
We educate our farmers on the importance of biodiversity in an environment and how they can promote it in their environment and avocado orchards. Our experts expound on how the habitats serve beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife to thrive.
Luckily, most of our farmers are in rural areas, and this topic isn’t always hard to explain. All we do is create a link on how the natural existence helps in avocado production, pest control, and the agricultural ecosystem.
Practice 5: Waste Management
FrutPlanet is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and waste. Our waste management practices throughout our operations reflect responsibility. On the other hand, we train our farmers on waste management and recycling.
FrutPlanet’s role in waste management is clear in how we package avocados. We are committed to eliminating plastic use by 2030 within our workflow. Late last year, we seized plastic crates in packaging our avocados. We now use cardboard crates that are well-cushioned and effective.
In addition, we are cautious about our waste management and ensure it’s treated before leaving our warehouse. We do not use any chemicals in our avocado processing workflow and, therefore, do not pose any harm to our workers.
On the other hand, we sensitize our farmers to compost organic waste and recycle packaging materials. Also, we train them to keep and dispose of hazardous materials properly. Educating them on how to minimize waste, reduce environmental pollution, and consequentially promote a circular economy.
Practice 6: Social Responsibility
FrutPlanet exporter’s commitment to sustainability is not limited to environmental practices. It’s rooted in how we treat our employees, local communities, and stakeholders.
Our avocado company fairly compensates farmers for their fruits, pays fair wages, and has safe working conditions. Most of our workers are from the local communities and the farmers we work with. In addition, our avocado company has fairly distributed opportunities for growth and development.
Practice 7: Certification and Compliance
Certifications and compliance are crucial and mandatory when exporting fruits and vegetables. Therefore, as leading experts in the avocado export industry, we seek certifications and adhere to industry standards that validate our sustainable practices.
These certifications include GlobalGAP (Good Agricultural Practices), Phytosanitary certificates, laboratory reports and certificates, and other organic credentials. In addition, we are locally certified by the government and have the relevant operational certificates. We keep our process transparent and assure our customers that our avocados are grown sustainably.
FrutPlanet is a leading exporter of avocados which an extensive global distribution network. At FrutPlanet, we continuously strive to improve our sustainable farming practices. Therefore, we research, innovate, and collaborate with experts in the field to educate and train the farmers we partner with. Our goal is to source and export avocados in a way that preserves natural resources supports communities’ well-being, and contributes to a healthier planet.
You can contact us via email at email@example.com or call our customer support at (+254)798 799 211 for partnerships. Also, if you’d love to source and export in bulk, request a quote for avocados, and our customer support will contact you.