The Rainforest Alliance announces Peruvian pomegranate farm Fundo Teresita, owned by Agroinversiones Valle y Pampa Perú S.A., has earned Rainforest Alliance certification, becoming the first pomegranate producer in Latin America, and the second in the world, to meet the comprehensive standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). To achieve certification, Fundo Teresita adopted practices that conserve natural resources, protect wildlife and promote the rights and well-being of farm families.
“We are proud to have supported Agroinversiones Valle y Pampa Perú S.A. on the path to certification,” said Hebert Flores, agriculture services associate for the Rainforest Alliance in South America. “This achievement has had a significant positive impact on neighboring communities, generating a valuable source of employment, enabling locals to voice their concerns and providing programs that support worker welfare.”
As part of the certification process, Agroinversiones Valle y Pampa Perú S.A. developed an impressive water conservation program, including the implementation of a high-efficiency irrigation system; of particular importance considering the local desert environment. This irrigation system enables the farm to conserve unprecedented levels of water, fertilizer and energy and won the company an award last year by the Sustainable Water Industry Group, recognizing its pioneering technology.
“Achieving the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal validates our commitment to sustainable agriculture in Peru and broadcasts this achievement to the world using a common language,” said Miguel Bentin, general manager of Agroinversiones Valle y Pampa Perú S.A. “We are honored to now be a part of a global network that prioritizes social and environmental responsibility in its business efforts, thus helping to conserve our planet for future generations.”
Fundo Teresita dedicates 51 of its 3,929 acres (1,590 hectares) to the production of pomegranate. The farm helps to protect wildlife by creating and conserving natural habitat. The farm is also committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and increasing its ability to store carbon through the efficient and responsible use of fertilizers and the cultivation of woody species, such as pomegranate trees. Fundo Teresita promotes worker wellbeing by employing workers from the local community and ensuring farm families have access to medical care and transportation between the various towns and the farm itself.
“Our long-term objective is to become the most efficient and environmentally responsible farm in our industry and to be recognized as a world leader, both for the quality of our products as well as our corporate ethics,” added Bentin. “The next challenge is to earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal for our asparagus and blueberries; something we aim to accomplish in the near future.”
The pomegranates produced at Fundo Teresita are sold under the RubyQueen® brand, which will soon feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, and are exported to Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal is awarded to farms that meet the comprehensive environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network. Certified farms curb deforestation, conserve soil and water, minimize use of agrochemicals and provide habitat for wildlife. Workers on certified farms benefit from safe work conditions, just wages, respectable housing and access to medical care and education for their children.