Strategy includes 20 positive impact projects that address the current climatic and social challenges facing the sector

Semillas Fitó

Spain’s Semillas Fitó chose Fruit Logistica 2024 as the backdrop for the official launch of its ambitious 2023-26 Sustainability Plan. The plan sets out the positive contribution the seed company can make to improving nutrition worldwide, in terms of food security – by breeding more productive and resistant varieties with a longer shelf-life and requiring fewer inputs – and by promoting healthier eating.

The strategy focuses on the implementation of 20 positive impact projects that address the current climatic and social challenges facing the produce sector. It includes a commitment to invest 29 per cent of the turnover generated by the company’s horticultural unit in research and development.

One of the plan’s most ambitious goals, presented at the fair by the head of Semillas Fitó’s seed and technology department Juan Jesús Narváez, was a commitment to develop new seed varieties with a lower environmental footprint.

The company is developing a rigorous methodology in collaboration with external partners to measure the ecological footprint in three key processes of the agri-food chain: seed production, production and distribution. Currently, new sustainability criteria have been implemented in six improvement programmes and in two test stations in Spain, with repetitions during three production cycles.

More than 15,000 data are being analysed to contribute to the selection of varieties that prove to contribute to the reduction of the ecological footprint, thus responding to the current concerns of the sector and for all its clients.

Within the framework of the new plan, Semillas Fitó said it had already achieved significant milestones by the end of 2022, such as a 100 per cent reduction in water use during the extraction process of solanaceous seeds and a 95 per cent reduction in cucurbits.

In addition, more than 360 tonnes of organic waste have been destined for composting and more than 7,000kg of tomatoes have been donated to charities.

During Fruit Logistica, Semillas Fitó reaffirmed its commitment as a global partner of the fruit and vegetable chain and presented innovative consumer brand proposals, such as the new Monterosa Mini format of the Monterosa tomato; the Waikiki melon, awarded ‘Flavour of the Year Portugal 2024; the CRÜ courgette and the Wabi-Sabi tomato, a healthy option for a versatile side dish.