FPAA Highlights Social Responsibility at Annual Conference
- by Andrew McDaniel
NOGALES, AZ – The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) held its 46th Annual Convention in Tubac, Arizona from October 30 – November 1. More than 800 industry representatives from the U.S. and Mexico attended.
This year’s conference started with “Moving Social Responsibility Forward – Lessons from Mexico,” a bonus learning lunch featuring industry and government leaders.
According to a press release, the lunch event was moderated by Martin Ley, President, Fresh Evolution, and panelists included: Guillermo Martinez, Del Campo Supreme; Alicia Martin, Wilson Produce; Juan Laborin, Hermosillo Grape Growers Association (AALPUM), and Berenice Martinez from Mexico Calidad Suprema.
Ley began by saying that “now is the time to be more pro-active in sharing the story of our long term commitment to our employees and their development. It is the right thing to do for the employee, for the industry and for our community. They are searching for information that verifies the fresh produce they purchase for their families is grown in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.”
The panel also spoke of the importance of responsible worker treatment across the fresh produce sector. Laborin said, “Continued partnerships between the government and industry will play an important role in ensuring widespread adoption.”
At the event, panelist Alicia Martin added, “It is interesting to hear how our motivations to treat our workers fairly are so similar. At Wilson Produce, we have multiple generations of the same family working for us. They come back to our farms year after year because they know they will be treated with respect. We understand that when our workers are strong, our business prospers.”
Other notable highlights at the event were presentations by Bruce McEvoy, the former CEO of Seald Sweet, on how to build a global sourcing strategy, and former Congressman Jim Kolbe on Arizona’s success as a trading partner with Mexico.
Congratulations on the success of this new learning lunch.