Women from across GLOBALG.A.P. took a moment at this year’s International Women’s Day to reflect on what gender equity means to them in the context of our mission as a company. Many of the stakeholders in the food and agriculture industries that we support are women, as are a large number of the world’s farmers and agriculture workers, especially in developing countries. That’s why we stand for equity in agriculture at GLOBALG.A.P.

Equity for women in agriculture promotes prosperity

“Women in the agroindustry are sometimes held back by barriers, like unequal pay. We need to work together in the supply chain to break down those barriers and create a more level playing field, so that everyone can reach their full potential and create a better world for all of us.” So says Nienke Weidema, Quality Manager, Fruit & Vegetables, Flowers at Albert Heijn. Weidema also serves on the Fruit and Vegetables Technical Committee at GLOBALG.A.P.

Weidema’s sentiments reflect those of Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Dongyu made the following comment in his 'Forward to the FAO Policy on Gender Equality 2020–2030' :Achieving gender equality in agriculture is critical to eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty. These views dovetail with our goal to recognize producers for their efforts to continuously produce enough safe food while safeguarding our environment and the welfare of farming communities. Because women form an integral part of farming communities, their welfare is the welfare of the whole system and goes along way toward securing abundant food supplies."

Women: A major force throughout the supply chain

Chiara Faenza of Coop Italia is on the GLOBALG.A.P. Advisory Board and is responsible for sustainability and values innovation. She has this to say about gender equity in agriculture: “I strongly believe that equity should become a key factor in production and supply chains. Equity must in the future be more than just words, it must become the new normal: we need to ‘Close the Gap’ as soon as possible!”  

The International Food Policy Research Institute reported the following figure in 2019: Women and girls make almost half of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, and that workforce is typically large. For example, over 60% of all employed women in Africa south of the Sahara work in agriculture. Ensuring equitable access to land rights, financing, and agricultural educational services for women in agriculture is a key component to maintaining sustainable and flourishing agriculture systems around the world.

Odina Afonso agrees. She’s the Chair of Continent Producers Club and Head of Quality & Research, and she also serves on GLOBALG.A.P.’s Chain of Custody Technical Committee. She states, “I strongly believe that a more sustainable world must be rooted ingender equity, where opportunities must be considered in a more balanced and customized way.”& amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; lt; /em>

GLOBALG.A.P. Technical Committee member Teresa Fernandez is Aquaculture and Fisheries manager with Hilton Seafood UK. She adds, “ I firmly believe we need allies to embrace equity, support our differences, call out discrimination, and challenge gender stereotypes to move forward in this journey of true inclusion. Diverse voices produce innovative thinking.”  

Join us on the journey to equity for women in agriculture 

Equity for women in agriculture is still something we are striving for. Federica Mariotti, Scheme Manager Farm Assurance certification with CSI S.p.A and Certification Body Committee with GLOBALG.A.P. says, Embracing equity is a process that starts with education of the younger generation. A society built on gender equity is an inclusive society where everyone can affirm their full potential.”

We invite you to join us on the journey.