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Germany: Organic bananas meet the criteria of Demeter e.V.
"We are supporting direct cooperations with the producers - not only regionally in Germany," this is the motto Thorsten Heil follows. The manager of procurement for fruit and vegetables is happy to go one step further with the tegut… fairbindet bananas from the Dominican Republic. The challenge is to achieve a biologically dynamic agriculture, even though monocultures are necessary. "This is necessary to prevent soil nutrient depletion," Heil explains. It also lowers the susceptibility to diseases. Since August 21st of 2017, the fairbindet bananas fulfill all the criteria of the Demeter e.V., which is located in Darmstadt. "Biologically dynamic varieties are the future," adds Thomas Gutberlet. According to the tegut... CEO the problem of world nutrition can be solved by implementing small rural structures and organic production. There are also no synthetic fertilizers used for the production of organic bananas.
The switch to Demeter was not easy - but successful
The monoculture which is necessary to cultivate bananas needs a lot of nutrients. "According to demeter guidelines, silica compounds are needed to give the plants strength. In Germany, those are extracted from field horsetails. But this plant does not grow in the Caribbean," says Heil about the difficulties of the change. They did some experimenting and figured out how to get the missing nutrients locally from bamboo. Additionally, cocoa, mango and citrus are cultivated in between the bananas to increase biodiversity. "Bio-fermentation is especially important: Liquid compost is used as a fertilizer. Of course, there are no synthetic fertilizers used for organic banana cultivation." After a visit of the plantations in the summer of last year, they had decided to implement the high standards.
Publication date: 8/31/2017
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