For the Cámara de Agricultura de la Zona Primera, the Ecuador Chamber of Agriculture who hosted the GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR stop in Quito on 27-28 June, the event provided an excellent forum for addressing issues concerning the need to meet and maintain food safety standards as well as social and environmental responsibility. Attended by more than 100 participants, including delegations from Peru and Columbia, the two-day event offered an overview of the latest consumer trends and the quality standards required by international retailers, and greatly helped producers, distributors, consultants, academics and experts in the agricultural sector to understand the important role certification schemes play in ensuring food safety along the entire food chain.

A panel of expert speakers presented both retailer and producer perspectives on the current global market and highlighted the impact producers make when improving production processes and upgrading farming methods. They also emphasized the need for adapting and expanding national and international food safety standards in production to gain wider market reach.

"We were very happy to be part of the GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR 2013 in Ecuador, because it was a good opportunity to deliver our message directly to the Ecuadorian market, and especially important to see that the Ecuadorian market is moving towards the implementation of international standards like GLOBALG.A.P.",  said Hugh Mowat
 Head of Quality - Produce and Horticulture
, Morrisons Supermarkets plc, UK. 

For GLOBALG.A.P. Board member Richard Yudin, Technical Director Environmental at Fyffes, a leading importer and distributor of tropical produce, the important thing is to minimize risks and achieve customer satisfaction. He pointed out that the rise in certification compliance stems from a change of mentality in the agricultural sector to replace the traditional focus on productivity with a more comprehensive management system of production.

Flavio Alzueta, GLOBALG.A.P. Director Marketing & Strategy, stressed the need to adapt to consumers’ changing attitudes toward the food they buy by explaining that, “today consumers want to know the history of the product: its origin, the use and registration of pesticides, fertilization, irrigation water quality, and much more.”

Mario Velasco, Food Safety Program Manager at Quality Certification Services, a Florida-based certification body with offices in Ecuador, emphasized the significance of National Technical Working Groups (NTWG) in helping national stakeholders adopt the GLOBALG.A.P. System on a local scale. “I truly think that as the world’s largest standard owner and administrator for Good Agricultural Practices, GLOBALG.A.P. makes great efforts to maintain an open policy for all stakeholders in the market chain to participate in its various programs. The NTWG is just such an example, and it is my goal to show that the NTWG GLOBALG.A.P. not only offers an opportunity to 'think global, act local' but to 'think and act global and local' in an effective and robust way."

For more information in Spanish, visit the Cámara de Agricultura de la Primera Zona .

View photos of the event here.

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

South Africa: 14 August 2013 in Somerset West
China: 6 September 2013 in Harbin
Spain: 15-16 October 2013 in Madrid

For information on organizing a TOUR 2013 event in your country or region, click here.