Continente marks 2 years of ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ certification, which results from the partnership between the Continente Producers Club (CPC) and Zerya, with the aim of developing personalized agricultural production systems, focusing on good agricultural practices and waste-free products, currently with 44 CPC member producers.

Continente was the first distribution chain in Portugal to present the ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ certification for fruit and vegetables for sale in its stores, guaranteeing waste-free food produced using sustainable agricultural practices. Now, Continente has products such as Butternut Squash, Plain Lettuce, Frizzled Lettuce, Purple Lettuce, Fractioned ‘Bolina’ Squash, Cabbage Heart, Orange Pulped Sweet Potato, Aromatic Herbs (in pots), Broccoli Kale, Golden Apple, Gala Apple, Reineta Apple, Fuji Apple and Rocha Pear. All food products are identified with the respective ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ symbol.

For producers to obtain this certification, they must take into account the technical management of the crop, as this type of production requires a high level of qualification from the farm technician, as well as the rational use of phytopharmaceutical products, to obtain products free from crop damage such as pests and diseases and, in turn, without pesticide residues.

The ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ Certification results from Continente’s growing concern in offering its customers fresh, environmentally friendly products and, therefore, we proposed our producers a solution that could respond to this challenge. This certification aims to ensure that the production of fruits and vegetables, produced by producers from the Continente Producers Club, has a positive impact on nature, reinforcing biodiversity and protecting soils. Our customers know that Continente is the only retailer in Portugal to offer products with this certification in its stores,” explains Ondina Afonso, president of the Continente Producers Club.

The certification is carried out by entities both external and impartial to Continente, which monitor everything from harvesting to the delivery of the sample. This impartial system of evaluating and monitoring recommendations made to farmers prevents conflicts of interest and the use of products that do not comply with current legislation.

This system, implemented by Continente, has a permanent training programme for producers that includes training seminars with university professors, researchers and R&D specialists from technological innovation companies.

The System Used by Continente does not promote or allow the use of GMOs as the only GMO crop authorized in Portugal is corn for grain and this product is completely outside the program that Continente is developing.

The ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ certification (according to European Regulation 396/2005 and below the quantifiable limit of 0.01 ppm), in addition to ensuring that the brand’s fruits and vegetables are free from pesticide residues, also safeguards principles of resource efficiency usage, lower energy consumption, lower emissions and greater control over microbiological aspects, a key issue with regard to food security and integration with the environment, guaranteeing the sustainability of the entire agricultural system. The requirements for granting certification are not limited to a set of prohibitions, but rather to promoting in-depth knowledge about the production and rational use of resources, namely phytopharmaceuticals.

The current legislation subjects the use of pesticides in agricultural production to Maximum Residue Limits, which guarantee the food’s safety for the consumer, but we wanted to go a step beyond what is foreseen in the legislation and exempt Continente’s fruits and vegetables from residues and it is this is the work we have been doing with our producers,” reinforces Ondina Afonso, President of the Continente Producers Club.

The ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ certification is thus awarded to 1,500 hectare of national production, corresponding to 20 thousand tonnes of fruit and vegetables sold exclusively in Continente stores.

To date, Continente has been on a solid path towards a healthier planet and, above all, with a view to educating and helping customers to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

Starting this week, a wide range of products with the ‘Zero Pesticide Residue’ certification will be highlighted in Continente stores and at


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