Fruit crop protection is heavily reliant on synthetic chemical pesticides, which can have unwanted side effects on the environment and can leave residues that are perceived to have potential health risks for the producers and consumers. Fruit quality and safety could therefore benefit from crop protection strategies that result in pesticide-free produce.
The CleanFruit project aims to design and promote a crop protection strategy to produce zero-residue (ZeR) fruit. The strategy is based on using new and existing biological pesticides (i.e. beneficials and microbials), commercial pollinators, and innovative pest detection tools. A holistic approach permits the evaluation of the impact of innovative and sustainable crop protection strategies on pest control, pollination, yield, costs, post-harvest quality and health of fruit, storage and processing. During 2020, sustainable and innovative prevention, monitoring and control tools are being trialled in commercial fields of strawberry and apple in Italy and Spain. These will be repeated in 2021 along with field trials in the UK and the Netherlands.
Farmer acceptance of the new technologies and the consumer acceptance of both the technologies and zero residue fruit will be analysed. The results of the study will be disseminated to farmers, consumers and other stakeholders of the fruit value-chain. Intended outcomes include a standardised but flexible pest control package that supports zero-residue crop production, which has been tested for delivery of clean crops, grower and consumer acceptance and wider ecological, economic and social benefits.
Virtual Open Day – 15th October 2020
Are you interested in growing fruit without resorting to use of synthetic chemicals to control pests and diseases? Do you want to find out more? Sign up for our FREE Virtual Open Day, taking part on 15th October 2020 to hear more about this innovative project and how it could help you. There will be a selection of presentations to listen to that will explain the strategy this project is developing, and a question and answer session at the end. Follow this link to sign up for the day https://forms.gle/kfE4ijciRJE45fjT8