Social and economic sustainability was the focus of the TOUR 2013 stop in Madrid. The 3-hour event was held in collaboration with Fruit Attraction, the International Trade Show for the Fruit and Vegetable Industry organized by IFEMA & Fepex.

Participants discussed the consequences of the demands of retailers and supermarkets on sustainable production in Spain as well as the contribution of the fruit & vegetables sector to social sustainability in Spain.

During a panel discussion, moderated by Flavio Alzueta, GLOBALG.A.P. Director Strategy & Marketing, experts and participants shared their perspectives and insights on the impact food safety and farm assurance in Spain. The panel of experts also included D. Bernardo Ramos Alonso, Executive Director of Spain’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security; Guy Callebaut, GLOBALG.A.P. Chairman of the Board, Jim Jefcoate, Technical Director at ASDA, UK and Vice-Chairman of the GLOBALG.A.P. Board; and Leon Mol, Agronomist at Ahold European Sourcing in The Netherlands.

Over the past 15 years there have been major changes in the agricultural sector in Spain. Growers are now using fewer pesticides and applying more integrated pest management and sustainable farming techniques as well as paying more respect to workers’ health, safety and welfare. Sustainable agriculture represents at least 80% of the total agriculture in Spain and it is steadily growing every year.

Javier García Ruíz, who is responsible for GLOBALG.A.P. Certification at Kiwa España, an international certification and inspection body, said that GLOBALG.A.P. Certification is very much in demand in Spain and it is the main product and service that his company provides to his clients. GLOBALG.A.P. Certification has also had a positive impact on the agricultural sector in Spain. He said, “ This is one of the markets that has not been affected by the recession in Spain. GLOBALG.A.P. is the most widely used and accepted certification in the country. 25,000 farmers have achieved GLOBALG.A.P. Certification because the foreign market demands it, and this has helped them grow in these difficult times. But after implementing GLOBALG.A.P., almost all the certified growers discover that GLOBALG.A.P. has given Spanish growers more than access to foreign markets. It has given them a better and more sustainable way to produce.”

Javier García Ruíz is also active in GLOBALG.A.P.’s Stakeholder Committees and says they are “ a very useful tool to learn more about the standard and to support GLOBALG.A.P. to make it stronger and better.”

Many expressed the importance of GLOBALG.A.P.’s tools for the future of the agricultural sector in the country, in particular the GLOBALG.A.P. Database, Chain of Custody, and GRASP for social responsibility.

View photos and download presentations of the event.

Check out our upcoming TOUR2013 stops and join us for an inspiring networking experience at a regional event happening near you! 

NL/Belgium: 20 November 2013 in Hoogstraten, Belgium
Japan: 29-30 November 2013 in Miyazaki City
Romania: 5 December 2013 in Bucharest