Sustainable development and agroecology
Fontestad is fully aware of the importance of biodiversity to keep our natural environment alive and well cared for. We therefore work to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity using various practices we have implemented over the years.
Conservation of flora and fauna
As examples, we sow plants between tree rows on our plantation plots to favour biodiversity of flora and fauna. Herbicides are never used in these areas, and we have reforested certain plantations with native species in some orchard areas such as slopes and margins.
We also sow flowers on the edges of plots so that native fauna can find food. We have installed bird’s nests in groves near our orchards to help local species to develop.
In addition, we carry out exhaustive, ongoing analyses to reduce the visual impact of our facilities, as, for example, by allowing aquatic plants to grow in irrigation ponds.
Together with Bayer and another external company, expert biologists conducted a biodiversity study of our estates (Baydiversity). The aim of this study was to identify and classify all species of flora and fauna on our farms, measure the impact of our activities, and establish new measures to care for the environment.
We have also signed an agreement with the IVIA (Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research) to develop innovations in the field of sustainability, technological improvement and implement the Life Project for the reduction of risks involving chemical product applications on people, flora and fauna.
At Fontestad, we have a farm insectary for Anagyrus pseudococci and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri to obtain useful predator fauna for citrus fruit pests. This helps us to reduce consumption of phytosanitary products and favour the development of these species, which provide ongoing support for our citrus crops.
Energy saving and pollution reduction
Within the action framework for energy and pollution, one of our priorities is studying where and how power is used, both in the field and in warehouses, so that specific improvement actions can be implemented to avoid unnecessary power usage.
For example, internally, we promote proper equipment maintenance and good environmental practices amongst employees out of respect for our sustainable work philosophy.
Similarly, we use anti-drift nozzles in all plant health treatments, with a closed-circuit discharge evaporation tank to avoid contamination from spills and leaks.
In all our plantations, we favour biological control over chemical control whenever possible. We regularly undertake pest counts and useful fauna counts, and, based on the results, we decide on the best form of action.
In areas where we are lacking useful predators and parasites, we liaise with several organizations and private companies which supply them to us.
If it is absolutely necessary to use chemical control, we always choose products with the most favourable toxicological profile showing the greatest respect for fauna and the environment.