The CSCP Supports Mauritian Retailers and Hotels in Switching to Sustainable Practices

To many Europeans, Mauritius is known as a holiday dream destination. Adrift in the Indian Ocean 1,250 miles east from Africa, golden beaches, shallow waters, exotic fruits, and a multicultural soul await discovery by its visitors. But the country currently struggles to achieve a sustainable production of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Following sugar cane which dominates the agricultural landscape, fresh fruits and vegetables are grown across Mauritius. The largest parts of the production are done by small and medium-sized farmers that have inherited a traditional way of farming from their ancestors.

Since modern farming techniques and chemical inputs have also reached Mauritius, this traditional and organic way of farming has disappeared, leading to high levels of chemical use and other unsustainable agricultural practices. On the demand side, Mauritian retailers and hotels seek to improve their offer to consumers and hotel guests but have limited access to the practices of their producers.

Against this backdrop, the Mauritian Government has decided to introduce the MauriGap standard for improved agriculture practices of smallholders in Mauritius. CSCP has teamed up with the University of Mauritius (UoM) and the Food and Agriculture Research & Extensions Institute (FAREI) to support this development and promote sustainable local agriculture through green retail and green hospitality. Under the project SuS-Agri, the project consortium is working with retailers and hotel chains in Mauritius to develop sustainable-oriented procurement practices, while simultaneously supporting them in communication and offering sustainable agricultural produce to their customers.

In March 2017, the CSCP staff delivered five training sessions on sustainable procurement, hotspot assessment, and green marketing to major retailers and hotels in Mauritius. The trainings showed that there is large interest from the demand side to improve quality and value proposition of fresh fruits and vegetables through the introduction of more sustainable agriculture practices on producing farms. The MauriGap standard for good agricultural practices is a first step and vehicle for the journey to sustainable fresh fruit and vegetable production. For this reason, CSCP has embedded the MauriGap standard into the broader picture of sustainable procurement and green marketing.  To offer a permanent source of advice and reference, two handbooks have been produced on the greening of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (FFV) supply-chain and marketing FFV to customers, one each for the retail and hospitality sectors respectively.

With retailers and hotels very interested in the training content and the goals of the project, next steps for the CSCP and its project partners will be to work with selected companies in Mauritius to develop and implement innovative pilot activities that will improve their procurement and marketing practices, leading the way to transforming Mauritius’ fresh fruits and vegetables to sustainable produce.

Please contact Jan Per Bethge if you have any questions.

© Photo By Chris Moody / shutterstock