Cooperative Cuatro Pinos  - Supporting suppliers on the way to a sustainable future

“The production of foodstuffs is a job which comes with a high degree of responsibility and as such we should feel proud of our achievements. However, we should also invest more in supplying high-quality produce to people all over the world.”, says Edwin Porón, GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer who was trained within the G.A.P. in Action Project, a two-step approach to promote good agricultural practices specifically in Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala and Peru executed from 2014 to 2016. The project was initiated on a United Way Worldwide grant issued on generous behalf of the Citi Foundation and in cooperation with the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Arcos Dorados (a franchisee of McDonald's in Latin America). The goal was to set up and grow a large base of suppliers that can consistently deliver safe food to retailers and the food service sector.

In a first step, groups of local agricultural consultants in the four countries were trained to become GLOBALG.A.P. Licensed Farm Assurers. From 16-19 May, the GLOBALG.A.P. Capacity Building & Farm Assurer Workshop took place in Guatemala City, and 14 future GLOBALG.A.P. consultants were trained on Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.). Everybody passed the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer exam, among them Edwin Porón, internal inspector of the Cooperativa Agrícola Integral Unión de Cuatro Pinos (meaning Integrated Agriculture Cooperative Union of Four Pine Trees).

As a qualified GLOBALG.A.P. consultant, he then initiated the second step of the G.A.P. in Action Project: transferring the acquired knowledge to a broad group of producers and smallholders through a diverse range of training and event activities. During a 1-day G.A.P. Awareness workshop, he trained 12 men and 11 women of the Cooperativa Agrícola Integral Unión de Cuatro Pinos on basic G.A.P. principles. But his work did not stop there, as he is continuing to train the farmers and farm workers in practical workshops.

Due to these “hands on” training sessions by Edwin Porón, the farmers are now able to produce high-quality vegetables and can therefore count on a stable and assured market throughout the season. What’s more, the producers will now take better care of their water and soil resources, establishing the necessary infrastructure to avoid contamination, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for 2030 of “achieving the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.”