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Dry bean production guide prepared with the Swiss institute FIBL

IME and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) prepared and distributed a short guide for organic production for the Borlotty and Red Kidney beans aligned to Swiss market standards and requirements by an agreed buyer. This comes as timely support to 11 farmers from North Macedonia that planted the beans at the start of 2020. The production process of these farmers is organized through Lipa, an organic producer from Sveti Nikole. Lipa will buy the beans from the farmers and sell directly to Coop, one of the leading supermarkets in Europe.

Organic borlotty and red-kidney beans require a different production process from beans traditionally grown in dry-cold Mediterranean climates such as North Macedonia. The guide offers step-by-step tips for bean producers – from field preparation, seeding date and temperature, nutrients, irrigation, and disease management adapted to local conditions and climate. The short guide in Macedonian language is available for download HERE.

To ensure compliance to strict Bio Suisse standards, IME will support Lipa to improve their postharvest practices to properly clean, separate the beans, and select the appropriate packaging.

All 11 partner farms will be linked to a high-value European market, increasing their revenues and income and creating new jobs in the value chain. As demand for Macedonian organic beans increases in Switzerland, , we expect the number of local bean producers also to grow.