How it all started
The commercial relationship between Grupo Acon and Bayer has existed for several years, and with this project both companies are committed to sustainable banana production. Since both companies were already committed to efficient sustainable banana production through a reduction in its social and environmental impact, they initiated a Food Chain Partnership project to achieve this goal. Bayer created the technical preconditions for high-quality banana production with a low environmental impact through the development of innovative products such as Verango® and biologicals such as Serenade®.
What we aimed to achieve
The overriding aim is sustainable banana production with high-quality standards and a beneficial impact on both the environment and surrounding communities. To reduce the environmental impact of chemical crop protection products, the project aimed to implement innovative solutions for sustainable banana production. To ensure operator safety and environmental protection, training measures were to be intensified and synergized with Bayer’s expertise in the stewardship field. Last but not least, the project aimed to support Acon’s established social responsibility program for their workers and local communities (e.g. ferias de la salud). Besides ensuring the high quality of bananas produced, another objective was to increase production to meet the yearly demand for bananas. Also to ensure the safe handling of production, and to fulfill the import countries’ MRL standards. The certification schemes targeted included GLOBALG.A.P., Tesco, HACCP, Rainforest Alliance, ETI, BAS Bureau, and Fairtrade.
left: Julián Picado, Key Account Manager Bayer CropScience, Costa Rica<br>right: Jorge Acon, Owner, Grupo Acon
Who is involved
Grupo Acon is the largest independent producer of bananas in Costa Rica and exports more than 20 million boxes a year. The main markets Grupo Acon exports to are the UK, Germany, other European countries and the USA. Grupo Acon is made up of various legal entities involving more than 30 farms.
Bayer has a close relationship with Grupo Acon, not only in the crop science field where innovative product technologies are helping to reduce the environmental impact of crop protection products. In the field of healthcare Bayer has also contributed to establishing Acon’s social responsibility program.