of the eighties and already conscious of future problems, viz.:
a small number of Walloon fruit growers of the region of Visé, inspired by already existing integrated techniques in Switzerland, decided to produce "differently" and stop using the so-called classical production method, where agrochemicals are used frequently according to previously set schemas. In 1988 the n.p.o. GAWI (Groupement d'Arboriculteurs pratiquant en Walonie les techniques Intégrées / Organisation of Walloon fruit growers who apply the Integrated Techniques) was founded, uniting those growers anxious to "distinguish themselves in pursuing a qualitative object and a fruit culture with more respect to the environment and human health".
the "integrated control",
namely a non-systematic control of pests, only used after having assessed
the possibilities of a natural control (presence of beneficials) and the
risk of real damage, this system rapidly developed into the "Integrated
The expression "Integrated Production" is more adequate, so far as the techniques used by the grower applying the integrated production method are not limited to the protection of the crop, but also imply other cultural factors: soil management, tree nutrition, fruit thinning, picking dates, improvement of the orchard environment, etc.
After a few years, this pioneer group has convinced a large number of growers to follow the demanding way of the Integrated Fruit Production, in Wallonia and Flanders, as well as in the neighbouring French Nord Pas-de-Calais.
1996 this enterprise met with success through the official recognition of
the Integrated Production of pome fruits.
Slowly the culture of fruits changes its image, anxious about the quality of its fruits, more respectful towards the consumer, the environment and human health. Even if the Integrated Production of Pome Fruit is without a doubt a success (69% of the surface of Walloon orchards), it still represents only 12% of the national apple and pear production. Its future demands particular attention and never ceasing efforts from the political world, as well as from the professional growers and the consumers themselves.
In this sense the n.p.o. GAWI again lies at the root of the foundation of a European Organisation of Fruit Growers Applying the Integrated Production (GEAPI: Groupement Européen des Arboriculteurs Pratiquant la Production Intégrée).