Greenpeace asks supermarkets to increase their efforts to regulate the use of pesticides

Which supermarkets are committed to fewer pesticides in the cultivation of regional fruit and vegetables? Greenpeace has asked the ten leading companies how to regulate the use of pesticides. The result of the Greenpeace survey conducted in Germany is as follows. The supermarkets of the Rewe Group occupy the first place with 53 per cent of the possible points; Coop with 21 per cent was named the last. “Pesticides do not belong to the field, or to our plates,” says Christiane Huxdorff, Greenpeace’s agriculture expert.

“All supermarkets need to work harder to protect humans and the environment from toxic sprays.” Many pesticides are very durable and last years in the soil. They are washed out into rivers and drinking water. Greenpeace tested the supermarket chains in eleven categories. The NGO’s major assessment was on how the supermarkets were working for reducing pesticides.

Studies were conducted on the cooperation of farmers and use of supermarket’s own laboratory analyzes. Points were also awarded for transparency, bee protection and a high proportion of organic products.  Aldi Süd offers a particularly transparent publication of pesticide analyzes, Lidl has a comparatively strict limit for pesticides in products. In almost all categories have been badly cut off Norma, Edeka / Netto, Aldi Nord, Globus and Coop.

It was revealed that the Rewe Group has the best program for reducing pesticides. The company examines every year the ten thousand field and end products on pesticides and publishes the results. “Together with farmers, traders have to reduce the actual use of pesticides in the field,” says Huxdorff: “Often, agricultural poisons cannot be detected in fruits and vegetables that are found in the supermarket.” Greenpeace also complains to Rewe that there are no prohibitions of particularly dangerous pesticides.

For over ten years, Greenpeace has been testing fruit and vegetables from supermarkets on agricultural poisons. The studies carried out by the independent environmental protection organization have led to the fact that limit values are rarely exceeded. Nevertheless, no fewer pesticides are used – farmers stop spraying earlier, so that fruit and vegetables are as little strained as possible during harvest time. Last year, Greenpeace experts identified carcinogenic chemicals in leaves, flowers, soil and growing apples in the “Altes Land” area near Hamburg.