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Organic banana cultivation with Inter Weichert

Inter Weichert is a large trading company of bananas, exotic fruits and vegetables. The company has long-standing relationships with Ecuadorian exporters and would like to expand its organic product portfolio.

Ecuador is the world’s leading banana exporter. In the 1950s the banana disease ‘Panama disease’ lead to the extinction of the ‘Gros Michael’, a popular banana variety due to their flavour and quality. Since then, the more robust but less tasty variety ‘Cavendish’ is grown all over the world. However, this species has recently become more vulnerable to fungi and diseases such as the ‘Panama disease’. Every year farmers use more and more pesticides to stop the spread of these diseases. As might be expected, the increased use of pesticides threatens the health of workers and leads to long-term environmental damage. These external costs however can not be internalized and absorbed due to volatile market prices.

In the course of the PPP-Project Inter Weichert introduces the cultivation of a new banana variety together with an Ecuadorian exporter. This is implemented in an ecological and socially responsible manner. The plantation is located in a rather arid region, with a few other banana plantations nearby. This reduces the risk of the disease spreading. The new banana variety with its excellent taste and the texture will introduced by Inter Weichert at the European organic market.

WiN=WiN effects

The project promotes local added value through the introduction of a new high-quality bananas variety. The organic plantation creates jobs for the local population in a region characterized by high unemployment. Through the use of biological herbicides, weed control by hand and compost fertilizer, health risks for workers and negative efffects on the environment are reduced. Workers benefit from the know-how transfer. In addition, the entire community is supported by social measures.

Inter Weichert is able to differentiate itself from other competitors in the growing organic segment with a new banana variety with excellent flavour and secures the long-term supply of organic bananas from Ecuador. This helps to satisfy the increasing demand of their customers for sustainably produced bananas.

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