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The GLOBALG.A.P. Tour stops off at Tucumán

The GLOBALG.A.P. Tour stops off at Tucumán

 

After 6 years, the certifier returns to Argentina to complete its 2019 Tour.

The province of Tucumán is the smallest in Argentina, but ranks 9th in terms of wealth generation, thanks to its excellent exportable offer, which is highly diversified, with 170 products exported to 160 countries. This is why Tucumán was chosen as the venue for the most recent edition of the GLOBALG.A.P. Tour. The first day featured conferences relating to various topics concerning production management and quality certification. The second day included field visits to companies such as Citrusvil and Tierra de Arándanos. The tour event focused on the economic benefits of good agricultural practices and introduced the latest GLOBALG.A.P. solutions, such as GLOBALG.A.P. add-ons, the Farm Assurer Program, the localg.a.p. program, GLOBALG.A.P. Livestock certification, the GLOBALG.A.P. traceability system, and the GLOBALG.A.P. FSMA PSR add-on to address the implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Good Agricultural Practices certification
is synonymous with competitiveness

In Argentina today, there are 608 companies with GLOBALG.A.P certification, and this figure is increasing. This is why the certifier partnered with the Tucumán Productive Development Institute (IDEP) to promote the products, services and benefits offered by both organisations. IDEP executive director, Dirk Trotteyn, said: “Our companies that adopt high production standards not only address aspects of food safety, but also respect and care for environmental resources, as well as the well-being of their workers.”

Vice-president of GLOBALG.A.P., Flavio Alzueta, stressed the importance of companies and producers addressing international market trends to meet a food demand that is increasingly aligned with quality and sustainability. “GLOBALG.A.P. is a platform that opens doors to compete in the main markets. Having this certification makes us more competitive. Argentina has great proactive professionals who do things well and conscientiously. There is room to grow our exports. At the same time, we must close the gap at the local level, where only 13% of fruits and vegetables are sold in the formal channel, with the rest sold informally,” said Alzueta.

IDEP launches
the “Tucumán Brand” Quality Seal

The GLOBALG.A.P. Tour was the ideal framework within which to launch the “Tucumán Brand” Quality Seal. Although the territory brand was created over 10 years ago, this latest launch offers new horizons to explore its full potential. The seal is a powerful tool that stimulates continuous improvement while also promoting values ​​linked to the sustainability of organisations. IDEP has been the main driver in building the Quality Seal and promoting its continuous improvement. It targets companies linked to primary production, the industrial sector, services, and public administration. There are currently more than 550 Argentine companies that are licensees of this hallmark.

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Lemons’ good qualities: the Argentine promotional strategy

The lemon has many little-known benefits so marketing is a must for boosting consumption.

One should start to talk of lemons with their qualities as a condiment, beginning to position them as a healthy kind of fruit that even has therapeutic properties.

In this vein, Lemos Producer Association (ATC in Spanish) manager Roberto Sanchez Loria emphasised that “if we are going to do this, then we cannot afford not to be certified. Being certified means we are offering something that we can say is intrinsically good, but which we treat with the same good level it deserves.”

The next matter at a global level in this regard will be that the fruit being sold should have very low toxic residue levels. “In future, we will have to find a balance between the aesthetic quality and healthiness, which is linked to toxic residues. This implies that we will be able to see a kind of fruit that is not as pretty to look at, but will certainly not have any chemicals, aiming for naturalness,” he said.

IDEP Tucumán supports the opening of new markets

Tucumán’s production forecasts augur well for a promising future but one that demands new strategies and new markets.

The state and the private sector are thus working together to seek new trade opportunities for lemons. In 2015, Tucumán began work towards signing plant health protocols with China. IDEP (Institute for the Productive Development of Tucumán) executive director Dirk Trotteyn said a committee of business people and civil servants was formed, which travelled to Beijing and met with their counterparts there to progress on the matter. “This is a long process we are working on in in a detailed and dedicated way,” he said. 

Within the Asian market, meetings have begun with Japan, too, in order to improve conditions so Argentinean lemons can withstand the long journey there. 

Moves are also being made in the US. “We want to reintroduce our lemons in that market,” Trotteyn said. A few months ago, the President of IDEP and the Minister of Production Development, Juan Luis Fernández, accompanied a delegation of producers from Tucumán in a meeting in Washington in order to advance those talks.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 88. Read more citrus and other fresh produce news from that issue at: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct