TOUR 2016 Mexico – Food Safety, Sustainability, and Corporate Social Responsibility: Key to a Successful Agri-Business

Organized by Grupo Rosmar, the GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR 2016 Stop in Mexico, taking place in Guadalajara, capital of the State of Jalisco, on 29 June 2016, offered a highly informative and productive business opportunity for over 160 delegates to share knowledge and listen to the experiences of global market leaders on food safety, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

“The remarkable commitment of the organizer, Grupo Rosmar, as well as of the local authorities, and the engagement of the audience in the discussions, proved that the location and timing were perfect to prepare participants for the challenges that an exporting market is facing with increasing demands imposed by buyers,” said Ignacio Antequera, Senior Manager/ Team Leader Technical Key Accounts, GLOBALG.A.P.

In his presentation titled Perspective of the World’s Agricultural Trade, Jorge Hernandez, Chief Food Safety Officer, Wholesome International, pointed out that the challenge is not to only to achieve certification, but to maintain it. “Certifications make companies proactive and productive,” he said, explaining that one of the goals of certification is to make production processes more effective. And subsequently companies become proactive in order to maintain the certification. When he joined Wholesome Internationals, they had a near to 30 percent recall rate. But by 2011 it had decreased to less than 1% due to certification.

“All change generates resistance. But if it’s based on having a quality product it is something that must be achieved”, said Jorge Hernández, stressing that food safety standards must always be science-based and achievable.

Speaking about Social Responsibility, Hugo Hays, Head of Food Safety and Sustainability, Fyffes , explained that in order for corporate social responsibility to endure it needs three pillars in balance: Environment, Community and Workplace (company).

When these three pillars are taken into consideration and implemented, companies can reduce personnel rotation. It’s important to put the employees’ wellbeing at the heart of a company’s social responsibility policy because in effect a happy employee is a more productive worker. By giving more importance to the employees and workers, companies can achieve a cost reduction in training new staff, an increase in productivity, and an efficient use of resources.

Corporate Social Responsibility also has an effect on the entire supply chain, he said. Through their joint cooperation companies begin to adopt and implement these social practices, which in turn achieves the goal of heling them form mature working relationships with their staff.

In a panel discussion on Better Practices in Certification Incentives, Paola Lopez, GFSI Grupo Local Mexico, and Flavio Alzueta, Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, GLOBALG.A.P., noted that there has been a rise in food quality issues. This is not only due to companies being more demanding regarding compliance with regulations for product export, but also because of consumer demands. As a result of food-borne illnesses, consumers increasingly demand stronger guarantees that the products they consume are safe. In addition, they are also demanding that the taste, odor and texture of these products will not be affected by the actions taken to ensure food safety.

Paola Lopez and Flavio Alzueta discussed the importance of establishing strategic relationships with certified companies to ensure that the supply chain will not be affected by external factors. For the same reasons, it is also important to develop strategic alliances with certification schemes to enable improvement. By distributing information on certification requirements improvements can be implemented in the processes more effectively and thus achieve certification that provides consumer reassurance.

During the panel on Generating Value in the Supply Chain, Armando Lopez Orduña, APEAM A.C., highlighted the importance of GLOBALG.A.P. Certification for the success of APEAM A.C. Thanks to certification, APEAM A.C were able to increase avocado exports to all parts of the United States. They also successfully established strategic alliances with groups such as Coca-Cola, refried bean companies, and Tabasco Sauce and invested in advertising their products and achievements in digital and social media. As a result of their efforts, they were able to increase avocado consumption per capita in the U.S. from 1.71kg per capita in 2011 to 2.71kg per capita in 2016.

The biggest challenge has been to change people’s mindsets, and to make Good Agricultural Practices part of the producers’ values, he said.

In the final presentation on Mexico as Agricultural Key Player, Julio César Rodríguez explained the Agri-food park concept of having several food producers work in the same site to optimize the use of natural resources and technology, thus saving transportation time. This concept can be applied to a second production process and thus obtaining the final product at the same site. This means that different products can be bought in one spot. For example, table apples can be processed in the same agri-food park to produce two final products, dessert apples and a beverage, such as apple cider.

By grouping together producers of the same natural resources, these can be used more efficiently and they can make use of technology to obtain these products more cost-effectively.

View pictures of the event here.

You can download the presentations by clicking on the session in the program below:


 Registration / Registro


 Welcome & Opening / Inauguración 


  Perspective of the World’s Agricultural Trade / Perspectiva de Comercio Internacional Agroalimentario   - 
 Jorge Hernandez, Chief Food Safety Officer, Wholesome International


  Social Responsibility / Responsabilidad Social Corporativa -
  Hugo Hays, Head of Food Safety and Sustainability, Fyffes


 Coffee Break


  GLOBALG.A.P.’s Role in Environment and Sustainability / Rol de GLOBALG.A.P. en la Gestión del
 Medioambiente y Sustenabilidad -
 Ignacio Antequera, Senior Manager / Team Leader Technical Key Accounts, GLOBALG.A.P.


 Lunch / Comida


  Panel: Better Practices in Certification Incentives / Mejores Practicas en Iniciatives de Certificatión -
  Paola Lopez, GFSI Grupo Local Mexico

  Karina Medina Casas, SENASICA
  Flavio Alzueta, Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer, GLOBALG.A.P. 


 Coffee Break


  Added Value in the Supply Chain / Generación de Valor en la Cadena de Suministro -
  Armando Lopez Orduña, APEAM A.C.
  Jorge Hernandez, Chief Food Safety Officer, Wholesome International


  Mexico as Agricultural Key Player / México como Potencia Agroalimentaria -
  Julio César Rodríguez Albarrán, Direccion General de Logistica y Alimentación, SAGARPA


 Closing / Clausura


 Cocktail / Coctél

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