Agropiura and Oppy’s Sustainability Efforts Bear Fruit in Peru With Impactful Adopt-a-Highway Program
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - I’m all about keeping the Earth clean, especially when it directly affects the growers who bring us all the fresh produce we love. Oppy and Agropiura, a leading producer of table grapes in the Piura region of Peru, have spearheaded a successful adopt-a-highway program in Peru, resulting in the removal of waste pileups alongside a major highway that were causing problems for local farmers.
“Improving social and environmental conditions across our supply chain is at the core of Oppy’s multilayered approach to sustainability,” said Oppy’s Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Doug Grant. “This program has proven to be both effective and efficient as it benefits the environment, the workers, and ultimately the business as well, since all of our operations depend on the health and wellbeing of our teams. Working with other growers who are equally passionate about sustainability such as Agropiura, Rapel, El Pedregal, and others, demonstrates how public-private partnerships are central to the success of sustainability programs regardless of their scale—it’s essentially about translating passion into action.”
Oppy and Agropiura have been working closely with other growers since 2019 to clean up a large section of highway near the farms in the Piura region, where waste pileups had accumulated due to a lack of disposal services. These pileups resulted in seepage into the groundwater, putting nearby farmland at risk, according to a press release.
In response to this challenge, Oppy and Agropiura, led by General Manager Jose Luis, invested in a small vehicle that would collect trash along the highway and bring it to a central location, as well as posted signs along the highway explaining the new initiative. The companies also engaged with the community and the local municipal authority, who later purchased waste disposal vehicles that transport the trash to landfill sites.
“Working together with Oppy on this great initiative has proven to be a win-win project, achieving not only environmental and health benefits, but also improving our relationship with local communities,” said Agropiura’s Executive Director Roberto Silva-Rodriguez. “Adopting and maintaining the highway clean-up was only the first step. In order to make the project sustainable, we got the San Rafael town involved. Now, they also use the small disposal vehicle to collect the garbage from their homes and send it to the central location, thus avoiding garbage being dumped anywhere and making the community proud of their town.”
Since its creation two years ago, the program now has 12 active partners and also services the nearby La Obrilla municipality. With 80 percent of its funding and management coming from local communities, and the rest from Agropiura and local growers, the program is now almost completely self-sustaining, and Oppy hopes the initiative will spread to new locations and across industries.
“Our goal now is to encourage other businesses to use this program as a model to tackle the pertinent challenges that they’re facing wherever they are,” said Grant. “By expanding your scope of responsibility merely to the highway outside your farm, you can make a lasting impact that benefits the lives of many.”
There’s nothing better than an initiative that serves Mother Earth. After all, we only get one chance to treat her right.
Keep an eye out for AndNowUKnow as we bring you the latest news in the fresh produce industry.