Billa Bulgaria joins program to reduce pesticide residues in fruit and veg

Billa Bulgaria is joining a program for the reduction of pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables grown under the Billa Gardens project, involving over 150 farms and greenhouses run by 33 Bulgarian producers. 

The program was developed by the Austrian Global Environmental Protection NGO (Global 2000) and was introduced at REWE International in Austria (Billa, Merkur, Penny). Billa Bulgaria is the first in Eastern Europe to join the initiative. 

The program foresees that pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables produced specifically for the retail chain will be lower than those permitted by law. To this end, Billa Bulgaria is providing its associated producers free-of-charge access to protection schemes developed by experts, designed to bring pesticide residue levels down to a minimum. The program is controlled by two independent organizations: SGS - Switzerland, and Global 2000 - Austria.

"Samples will be taken periodically by external expects to check the presence of different types of pesticides, and will be analysed in accredited laboratories in Bulgaria and Germany at the expense of Billa Bulgaria. The project entails an investment of hundreds of thousands of Lev* per year. 

The results of these tests will be published on the chain's website. For easier interpretation, Billa Bulgaria is using three coloured codes. Green means that the product's residues lie below the permitted levels; yellow means that the products are harmless and acceptable and meet the legal requirements, but not under the tougher criteria of the program; red means that the products are not allowed for sale.

*1 Bulgarian Lev= 0.51 Euro/ 0.60 US$ 


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