Everything started with our bio productsAfter the launch of our organic Bio products, we started to generate a lot of interest for agricultural food products grown under strict environmentally friendly conditions and free from chemical synthesis compounds throughout the cultivation, growing, ripening and harvesting processes. PERIS was among the first companies in the Valencian Region to be granted with the Bio organic producer certification. Talks began on the implementation of new cultivation systems, eliminating any external elements not found in nature with the aim of growing chemical residue free products that were also harmless for both human consumption and the environment. It was time to find natural fertilising and composting alternatives, as well as the use of sexual confusion technology, introduction of predators for vector elimination, etc. However, we did not look into the associated costs in further detail, or considered whether the consumers, logistics and distribution chains would be ready to handle our products alongside the traditional alternatives. Improving our cropsThis initial interest shown by wealthier European consumers to buy organic Bio products has not materialised as expected across the rest of the EU due to their high costs and the lack of availability for different qualities and formats on the supermarket shelves. It also requires duplicating the available space at the point of sale as well as the reference codes, and a long list of extras that consumers are not always happy to support since they do not notice or perceive the value in many of the products to justify the difference in price. In view of this situation, a new opinion trend emerged that managed to create Residue-Free as an intermediate work model between the organic and existing cultivation processes. This premise is based upon an inevitable fact: growing chemical residue free produce is likely to become an established obligation required by the regulatory frameworks. However, we are aware that these changes will take time and any improvements must arise from a decision making process that involves the entire distribution chain. Zero chemical footprintResidue-Free food production includes a series of techniques, protocols and supplies that are applied to achieve chemical residue levels below the limit of detection of active matter (0.01 ppm, 0.01mg/kg). Currently, this system is not governed by any regulation or standard. Growing produce under the Residue-Free scheme is a complex issue. Thinking only in terms of replacing chemical synthesis compounds with organic products will lead to failure. Therefore, we must expand our scope and take action not only against the types of pesticides used, but also by achieving a profound understanding of the agricultural system in order to succeed. For that reason, we must consider several different factors that can influence the cultivation cycle. Such as a comprehensive management system intended not only to grow fresh, healthy and safe produce, but also to meet the European requirements in terms of food safety. And by this we mean considering different aspects such as soil preparation, pruning, irrigation, composting and fertilisation, pest control, etc., in a coordinated, global manner within the field. Peris nature zero residuePERIS NATURE was created within the above context as the next step in our product innovation line of business. We are initially selecting ‘Piel de Sapo’ melon batches, although our goal is to expand our portfolio with different varieties of Watermelon and Pumpkin. Thanks to our Global Gap certification, growing produce that can be covered by the PERIS NATURE brand is relatively simple, since both share similar requirement standards. According to PERIS, Residue-Free products are those with no trace of chemical residues at the time of harvesting, such as those acquired following any treatments applied during their cultivation. Following rigorous testing undertaken by external laboratories, it certifies the absence of approximately 717 types of officially verified chemical residues, thanks to the severity and control in the application of phytosanitary treatments and pesticides, while also involving environmentally friendly standards. This guarantee for the consumers and the entire distribution chain allows for the expansion of an environmentally friendly range of products that are also healthy and affordable for most buyers.