TOUR 2019 – Argentina
Tucumán Region Strengthens Competitive Edge with Responsible Farming Practices

Organized by & IDEP - Instituto de Desarrollo Productivo de Tucumán (Institute of Productive Development in Tucumán) in Collaboration with GLOBALG.A.P.

"At IDEP, our institutional policy is to encourage companies to incorporate international standards that seek quality and continuous improvement in production processes as a tool to broaden their commercial horizons. That's why we organized this GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR. Listening to international experts and major retail representatives share their views on the upcoming trends in food consumption and on-farm certification has been a highly enriching experience." Ing. Dirk Trotteyn, Executive Director, IDEP Tucumán

Held in collaboration with IDEP - Instituto de Desarrollo Productivo de Tucumán on 8-9 October 2019, the highly anticipated two-day TOUR event attracted more than 150 agribusiness professionals from different parts of Argentina and Latin America, as well as representatives of national and international buyers and the country's farming industry.

The TOUR event focused on the economic benefits of Good Agricultural Practices and introduced GLOBALG.A.P. solutions such as GLOBALG.A.P. Add-ons, the Farm Assurer Program, the localg.a.p. program, GLOBALG.A.P. Livestock certification, the GLOBALG.A.P. traceability system, and the GLOBALG.A.P. FSMA PSR Add-on to address the implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Good Agricultural Practices Certification Is Synonymous with Competitiveness
The second TOUR stop in Argentina since 2013 took place in the province of Tucumán, the world's foremost producer and processor of fresh lemons, and the second largest exporter of fresh lemons globally. In Tucumán, more than 30,000 hectares of lemon and blueberries are under GLOBALG.A.P. certification. Argentina, a country with a great variety of natural resources and a vibrant history rich in traditions, is one of the largest exporters of food crops in the world (incl. soy, corn, and lemons). 53 percent of its land is arable, making the agricultural sector of the eighth largest country in the world a powerful and increasingly important economic driver.

This dynamic growth in the Argentinian market has heightened consumer awareness of and intensified regulatory focus on food safety and sustainable agricultural practices. Producers now recognize the competitive edge they gain by adopting Good Agricultural Practices and are keener than ever to implement an internationally recognized responsible farming system such as GLOBALG.A.P. to better manage their production processes and access international markets.

In his introductory presentation, Flavio Alzueta, GLOBALG.A.P. Vice President & CMO, elaborated on the core principles driving GLOBALG.A.P. certification, "Our standards are all about food safety, workers' health, safety and welfare, animal welfare, and the environment. These are the fundamental aspects that our system of Good Agricultural Practices covers, and they form the basis for the level of responsible farming we want to develop and spread around the world with our GLOBALG.A.P. system and standards." Flavio Alzueta, who also spoke on Argentina and market trends, added that the "ultimate goal is to reduce the risks in the production phase", a target GLOBALG.A.P. has been pursuing for over 20 years.

localg.a.p. for the Sugarcane Sector – Sugarcane Harvesting Without the Use of Fire
In her presentation on the localg.a.p. Program, Indiana Mendilaharzu, GLOBALG.A.P. licensed Farm Assurer based in Argentina, presented an overview and results of the localg.a.p. Program designed specifically for the sugarcane sector. Developed with Estación Experimental Agroindustrial Obispo Colombres EEAOC, a GLOBALG.A.P. member, and Indiana Mendilaharzu, the localg.a.p. Program for the sugarcane sector was launched in 2014, making Tucumán the first regional government in the world to initiate a certification process for the production of sugarcane without fire harvesting.

Sugarcane cropping, one of the main agricultural activities in Tucumán, is a process whereby farmers frequently burn cane crops before harvest and their residues after harvest. Since 2005, laws have been put into place to gradually decrease the use of fire, which is considered a major environmental hazard. Despite the implementation of several regulatory measures, monitoring and controlling sugarcane harvesters remains a challenging task for the local government.

What began with 5 farms covering 2,000 hectares in 2014, the localg.a.p. Program for the sugarcane sector now covers 15 farms covering 32,000 hectares. The program has successfully promoted sustainability in the region by helping farmers better manage and improve soil quality and prevent its erosion. At the environmental level, the air is healthier for nearby communities and the risk of accidental damage caused by fire has been reduced.

The localg.a.p. Program, which serves as the first step to supporting small-scale producers implement Good Agricultural Practices, is a perfect example of successful collaboration and partnership between producers, environmental organizations, the state, and GLOBALG.A.P. all working for a common goal.

Farm Visits – GLOBALG.A.P. in Practice
The second day of the TOUR event consisted of two field trips to GLOBALG.A.P. certified farms in the region.

The first trip was to Tierra de Arándanos, a blueberry farm located in the town of Monteros. As the farm was in the middle of harvesting, visitors had the opportunity to learn about the facilities and see the harvesting and packaging process in real time.

The second trip was to Citrusvil S.A., a company dedicated to the production, processing and commercialization of lemon and its derivatives. Citrusvil has over 7,000 hectares of lemon, spanning 23 farms that provide 60 percent of the fruit that the company packs or sells. The company's production processes have been GLOBALG.A.P. certified for more than 10 consecutive years .