Global Agriculture

ASAJA and Vestaron Join Forces in the Sustainable Protection of Spanish Tomato Crops

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21 June 2023, US: Vestaron continues its global growth with the recent signing of an agreement with ASAJA – the largest professional agricultural organization in Spain with more than 200,000 members – to develop an innovative collaboration aimed at transforming sustainable agricultural practices. The partnership is centered on helping producers implement a range of treatments against pests based on peptides (amino acid molecules) that deliver the efficacy of conventional insecticides but provide the safety of biological products.

“This agreement represents a great leap forward for the future of Spain’s important tomato crop. We are enthused by ASAJA’s proactive approach to sustainable agriculture, and we look forward to helping producers manage pest pressures and protect this valuable commodity while also protecting the environment, workers, and biodiversity in the ecosystem,” said Anna Rath, CEO of Vestaron.

The transition from synthetic pesticides to biological peptides represents a considerable improvement in the sustainability of crop protection for Spanish producers. The tomato cultivation area in Spain amounts to 56,106 hectares and tomato production amounts to 4.7 million tons, of which 60 per cent is intended for fresh consumption and the rest for industry (peeled, concentrated, dehydrated etc.). Approximately 25 per cent of national production is exported.

Despite the great economic and social importance of this crop in Spain, “in recent years we are witnessing a drastic reduction in the active materials available to be used against tomato pests and diseases,” stated ASAJA. The management and control of pests continues to be one of the most important challenges facing intensive agriculture in Spain. In high productivity crops and in protected agriculture, the proliferation of pests and diseases is much more common than in other types of production, making the protection of crops against disease and damage a priority for producers.

“Traditional treatments with broad-spectrum insecticides face a double challenge: on the one hand, the growing resistance problems developed by pests, and on the other, the safety profile, both for the field workers who apply the treatments, and for the final consumer to whom producers must guarantee healthy and safe product,” according to ASAJA.

On signing the agreement, the president of ASAJA said the partnership represents “a significant step towards a more sustainable future for agriculture, by providing farmers with effective and ecological alternatives to conventional pesticides. We can better protect our environment, preserve biodiversity, and guarantee the viability of agricultural activity”.

ASAJA, created on July 14, 1989, is the result of the merger agreement between CNAG, CNJA and UFADE, constituting the largest professional agricultural organization in Spain with more than 200,000 members who work directly on farms.

Vestaron is leading a peptide-based revolution in crop protection. We are committed to providing growers with novel, effective and sustainable peptide-based biopesticides that address proven neuromuscular targets. Our peptides overcome existing resistance issues while offering a desired safety profile for workers, pollinators and other beneficials, and the environment. Vestaron has earned global recognition for its work, including the inaugural 2015 Bernard Blum Award for novel biocontrol solutions, the prestigious Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute in 2020, and Best New Biologic Product in the 2021 Crop Science Awards.

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