High-quality lettuce through sustainable production and GLOBAL G.A.P. certification
How it all started
Chile has over 83,000 ha of horticultural land, with lettuces accounting for around 7,500 ha of this total. Some 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown in the country are sold via supermarkets with high quality requirements. Lettuce is Chile’s fourth-largest crop sold in supermarkets, with 33 million units a year, and it is one of the crops monitored by Chile’s Department of Agriculture. As the sustainable management of crop protection to manage, e.g., aphids and fungus becomes a very important challenge.
Knowing the challenge of growing lettuce in a sustainable manner, Walmart-Chile and Bayer CropScience collaborated in a Food Chain Partnership project in 2010 by providing field support, organizing training courses, and developing quality standards to meet the requirements of Walmart-Chile. Bayer’s knowledge in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the management of residues motivated Walmart-Chile and its producers to set up this agreement with the objective of fulfilling the global residues standards without compromising on the quality and health of the crop.
left: Ernesto Nieto, Food Chain Manager of Bayer CropScience Chile; right: Marina Hermosilla, Sustainability Director of Walmart-Chile
Who is involved
With more than 200 outlets in the country, Walmart-Chile is the country’s leading retailer of fruits and vegetables with a market share of over 30%. Hence, Walmart-Chile is interested in improving produce quality, minimizing risks to customers, enhancing traceability, and reducing residue levels.
The twelve lettuce farmers from the Chacabuco Province who participated in the project from April 2010 to December 2011 are the most important local suppliers of vegetables for Walmart-Chile supermarkets.
As the leading provider of integrated crop solutions in Chile, Bayer CropScience was able to help these lettuce farmers through integrated crop management measures aimed at reducing the number of lettuce rejections and ensuring quality produce. The Bayer Vegetable Seed business, commercializing seeds under the Nunhems® brand, was also involved in this project by supplying seed technology and production varieties for field trials.