The seasonal fruit mix is a colourful mixture of seasonal fruits from our farmers in the region, personally put together for you by the Farmy team. The fruits in the seasonal mix are always of the highest quality. Care is naturally taken to make it as diverse as possible, and to ensure that the body’s vitamin requirements can be met, taking advantage of the local variety. Depending on the season, the products vary.
Fruits, such as bananas, are always available seasonally, but unfortunately not regionally. However, they are desired and demanded and therefore also included in the seasonal mix from time to time. For this reason, these fruits are imported, which of course involves a longer transport route that we cannot avoid. But even with these products, we make sure that they are produced under the fairest possible conditions and that they are produced as near as possible and as far away as necessary.
Individual fruits, like strawberries, are only in season in Switzerland for a few months of the year. Farmy of course wants to take advantage of seasonality, hence the seasonal mix is adjusted weekly. Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables makes sense because they can be harvested in the region, so they do not travel long distances and the CO2 footprint is usually lower. But that’s not all — with most vegetables and fruits there are other aspects that make it worthwhile to consume seasonal vegetables. We would like to explain this to you using the example of strawberries.
Strawberries in the Seasonal Mix — Only at a Certain Time of Year?
The strawberry season starts in May. Normally, strawberries should taste sweet and juicy — like summer. Therefore, if you find them in the supermarket as early as March or April and are dreaming of summer, it’s hard to resist them. However, it is advisable to control that strawberry craving and hold out a little longer. Since early strawberries are not subject to natural growing conditions, they are more susceptible to fungal diseases. According to studies, winter strawberries are therefore often contaminated with pesticide residues that exceed the limit values.
Farmy wants to protect the environment and avoid the unnecessary use of pesticides. That is why Farmy only sells strawberries when it is strawberry season in Switzerland.
Where do Winter Strawberries Come From?
Last year, Switzerland imported 14,000 tonnes of strawberries, according to data from Statista — including many strawberries out of season. The “early” strawberries come from Morocco, Egypt, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico and primarily from Spain. So they have a very long way to go and therefore a large CO2 footprint. In addition, strawberries have to be eaten quickly because they perish relatively soon, so transport should be rather speedy. This requires a very high level of logistical effort.
Thirsty Little Fruit
Excessive strawberry cultivation, for example in regions in Spain with few rainy days, needs large amounts of water! To let them ripen properly and become plump and juicy, 1kg of strawberries needs about 280 L. In Andalusia, one of the driest regions in Spain, one third of the water is used for strawberry cultivation, for which ever deeper wells have to be dug. This lowers the water table and the region suffers from droughts and water shortages for the environment and the population. 70% of the wells for strawberry cultivation are illegal. Especially the region around the Doñana National Park, one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Europe, suffers from this (Schrot und Korn 2021). In addition, other aspects of the life cycle of a strawberry are not good for the environment and produce CO2. This graphic gives you an overview of the life cycle of early strawberries and their CO2 production in the individual life phases:
As you can see, CO2 emissions are produced at every stage of the strawberry’s life. Of course, some emissions are also produced in the life cycle of seasonal strawberries. However, a large part can be saved here. Using fewer pesticides and less water during cultivation, through shorter transport routes in distribution, and through less seasonal strawberries being thrown away in consumption. In summary, the comparison of CO2 emissions of seasonal strawberries and strawberries from Spain is shown in the following graph:
Strawberries from Farmy in Switzerland
Other aspects in favour of Swiss strawberries include excellent eating quality, proximity, and confidence in the use of environmentally friendly and health-friendly production techniques.
The content of important ingredients for the body is significantly influenced by the time of harvest, the degree of ripeness, and the handling of the fruit after harvest.
Other aspects in favour of Swiss strawberries include excellent eating quality, pIf vegetables are harvested at the right stage of ripeness, they have the highest content of vitamins and so-called secondary plant substances, and therefore also contain more natural aromatic substances. If fruits that take time to ripen, like strawberries, are harvested too early, the typical flavour development does not occur. This is why early strawberries do not taste quite as sweet and juicy.