Mainstreaming biodiversity into food value chains
As of: October 2021
Tropical fruits are rarely produced sustainably and ecologically along their entire value chain. The project supports the integration of biodiversity aspects and ecosystem services into the value chains of bananas and pineapples. To this end, pilot farms will be identified that will use practical examples to illustrate how biodiversity criteria can be integrated into corporate certification and procurement guidelines. The project is also developing a biodiversity check and a training programme for companies. In addition, a biodiversity innovation fund supports producers in testing more biodiversity-friendly measures. The acceptance of higher consumer prices for bananas and pineapples produced in a biodiversity-oriented manner is also being promoted. The experiences are systematically processed and disseminated at national, regional and international levels.
State of implementation/results
- In Costa Rica, the development of a green label (insignia verde) has been agreed with the nature conservation authority SINAC, which awards farms with particularly biodiversity-friendly production. The prerequisite is the successful implementation of an action plan based on the Biodiversity Check Agricola (BCA).
- Through a cooperation between Nicofrutta in Costa Rica and ASOPROPIMOPLA in the Dominican Republic, which was mediated by the project, this producers' association, consisting mainly of young entrepreneurs, was able to deliver pineapples to Europe by ship for the first time. Until now, the association had only exported pineapples by air, the transport of which was associated with high emissions. Nicofrutta supported the association in meeting consistent quality standards even with larger container quantities and in improving the shelf life of the fruits.
- 79 plantations and small producers organised in cooperatives in both implementing countries are now applying the BCA. 17 of them have already gone through all the steps of the BCA and are implementing the measures from the resulting action plans. In total, the project reaches an area of 18,885 hectares with its cooperations. A digital app for monitoring the action plans ("BPApp") is already in the testing phase and was made available to the producers in April.
- A voluntary surcharge system for consumers when buying pineapples and bananas is being negotiated with two supermarket chains in Costa Rica (Auto Mercado and Fresh Market). The idea is that customers can decide whether they want to pay a surcharge at the checkout to finance biodiversity measures of the producers of the purchased product. In this way, they are made aware of the issue.
- The designs for the consumer campaign in Germany are being fine-tuned with cooperating supermarkets and standards. The campaign will start this year on social media and is expected to run at the point-of-sale in supermarkets in 2022.
- In order to continue offering training on the project's tools during the pandemic, the virtual training programme was continued. A total of 515 participants from 74 organisations took part in the online seminars on BCA for agricultural extension workers and on other innovative topics such as climate risk assessment in banana production. However, it is clear that in important areas there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings, for example for the institutional anchoring of the tools.
- From the four idea competitions (two per country), 27 projects are now under implementation, which will leverage a total of 559,283 euros in private contributions.
- The local committee of the Azua Green Corridor in the Dominican Republic was consulted in November on digital formats in building an organisational form to coordinate the corridor. It was decided to constitute itself as an association and thus set up a legal form that would allow the mobilisation and use of financial resources. However, implementation is currently delayed by contact restrictions and curfews. In addition, as far as possible, the group has been advised digitally on the selection of a geographical section on the lower course of the Jura River where the biocorridor measures supported by the project will be implemented. Follow-up activities now require a site visit and are therefore delayed.
- Selective trips were possible to the Ruta los Malecu biocorridor in Costa Rica, so planning was concretised with local stakeholders. It is planned to improve the ecological connectivity between the pineapple growing regions and the Cano Negro protected area, which is known as a habitat for migratory birds.