Spanish regional and central government has launched a not-for-profit organisation, which will work with the big four UK grocers to slash pesticide residues in fresh Andalucian produce.

Hortyfruta will represent the interests of about 20,000 producers in the Andalucian region of southern Spain and aims to substantially reduce chemical pesticides in fruit and vegetables by the adoption of clean farming controls.

Members of Hortyfruta supply produce to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.

The Andalucian regional government is pumping €300 million (£226.5 million) into the initiative, including financial incentives to encourage rapid uptake of clean farming, which introduces predatory pests into the environment to slash or even eliminate the need for chemical pesticides.

Hortyfruta general manager María José Pardo said: “The launch of Hortyfruta will bring about a step-change in the drive to introduce clean farming as the standard in Andalucia.”