What exactly are pesticides?
Chemical pesticides are products used by farmers as well as amateur gardeners to treat plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, cereals, fruit trees and plants in general, and/or to protect them against diseases.
There are three main categories of pesticides: insecticides to kill insect pests; fungicides, to eradicate diseases caused by fungi; and herbicides, to kill weeds.
Why do we need to take action?
France uses more phytosanitary pesticides than any other country in Europe. And yet, as we well know, chemical pesticides are dangerous for both the planet and for people's health. "We still need to reduce the use, the risks and the impacts of phytopharmaceutical products in light of what we have learned since 2008", emphasises France's minister for Food and Agriculture.
More and more farmers, researchers and technicians are implementing measures to reduce their usage, but without compromising the economic performance of farms. This is exactly the thinking behind the "EcoPhyto" plan launched by the French government in 2008 – raise people's awareness and educate them about more environmentally-friendly practices, such as agro-ecology. This agricultural model gives Mother Nature back some of her rights: trees and hedges are planted, with chemicals being replaced by more natural substances.
Carrefour is fully-committed to this approach and is taking concrete action. The retailer has decided to cut out some of the chemical pesticides it uses by increasing use of agro-ecological methods in the manufacture of its Carrefour Quality Line and Reflets de France products. Carrefour wants to take action to preserve the planet's biodiversity – for the well-being of people and animals, as well as for the environment. Its aim is to grow produce responsibly but productively, ensuring that it remains accessible to everyone, while protecting living things.
Is this really so new?
Carrefour has already been using natural farming methods for a quarter of a century! One of the basic commitments to which its Carrefour Quality Line products (which first appeared in 1992) adhere is the use of natural pest control methods, so that chemical pesticides can either be done away with altogether or kept to the strictest minimum.
Carrefour now wants to go further with its partner producers. For example, no Carrefour Quality Line fruit and vegetables undergo any chemical processing once they have been harvested. The retailer is encouraging innovative new agro-ecology methods which safeguard the planet’s biodiversity and nature's resources, while at the same time enabling producers to sell what they produce at fair prices. And their produce remains affordable for everyone.
What is the long-term aim?
It takes time to build knowledge and then convert farming practices into more virtuous models. This is the thinking behind the Carrefour Quality Lines – good, affordable products that have been made using environmentally-friendly methods since 1992!
No Carrefour Quality Line fruit and vegetables undergo any chemical processing once they have been harvested.