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real is spared from banana disease so far

Robust organic bananas defy TR 4

Since February 2019, real has only offered certified organic bananas. This means real is the only large-scale supplier in food retail that no longer offers conventional bananas not only in Germany, but also in Europe as a whole. Since 2015, real has consistently pursued this strategy of replacing conventional bananas with organic bananas. In Colombia, the outbreak of the TR 4 banana disease shows one of the major benefits of this conscious approach to agriculture: organic bananas are resistant.

"This development clearly shows that we are on the right path with our philosophy of acting responsibly," says real CEO Patrick Müller-Sarmiento. "Only sustainable agriculture and a respectful approach to nature results in products of the highest quality that are not only good for humans, but also for the environment. This is one of the reasons why we will continue to work on our range, striving to offer only sustainable products by 2030."

Humus rich soil
A recent outbreak of the TR 4 disease in Colombia is currently threatening large parts of the global banana harvest. "The fungus forms in soils that are leached out by decades of monoculture and the use of pesticides, which no longer contain any microorganisms, so that the harmful fungus can spread unchecked," explains Peter Reitz, real Business Unit Manager for Fruit and Vegetable Purchasing. "The real bananas we offer with organic or Demeter certification only grow on plantations with healthy, humus rich soils. The fungus has no chance there, so our bananas, although they are mostly from Colombia and are of the Cavendish variety, are not affected by this outbreak," adds Reitz.

When it comes to sustainability, real is one of the pioneers in German food retailing, featuring a multitude of initiatives. In addition to the sale of organic bananas and numerous other organic products in all ranges, this includes, among other things, a large assortment of fruits and vegetables from controlled permaculture cultivation. Permaculture is a particularly sustainable type of bio-agriculture, in harmony with nature, that completely dispenses with the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. By using natural micro-organisms, this type of agriculture promotes the build-up of the humus layer in the soil, which in turn acts as a natural CO2 storage and increases the fertility of the soil.

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