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Lettuce, Florette

Lettuce - Spain, Florette Agrícola

This case study demonstrates how the production of Iceberg lettuce can be undertaken to optimise the application of inputs through careful management and good practice, whilst maintaining product safety and quality. This case study also highlights good practices in worker welfare.

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Key areas of good practice

The key initiatives undertaken by Florette can be summarised as follows:

  • Automated drip irrigation is used to provide water to the growing crop and minimises water use by applying targeted quantities above the root zone of the crops. It is estimated to be 25% more efficient than other methods of surface irrigation.

  • The use of nitrogen is closely monitored via soil sampling as well final product testing to ensure that application is optimised and cost effective.

  • Pheromone traps are used to capture and monitor pest incidence so that Plant Protection Products (PPP) are only applied when defined threshold levels are exceeded. In addition, the use of biological pest control products with zero-residues, such as garlic extract, helps to further reduce pest incidence and minimise PPP use

  • Nest boxes and perches have been erected around the farm to provide more habits for insectivores such as birds and bats. In addition to supporting local biodiversity, the animals act as a form of biological control against insects and rodents.

  • Florette Agrícola employs a large number of workers on fixed–term contracts, and offers substantial assistance and support to all staff. The farm helps with issues such as the application of work permits, organising travel arrangements (from as far away as Thailand), and providing a support worker to help with any personal or financial matters.

  • The company is a member of the region’s Milagro XXI Foundation which provides help and support to the local community through projects and social development schemes.

  • The farm works to promote best practice in the farming sector and encourage rural employment through engaging with local Universities, employment forums and agricultural businesses.