Sustainable development takes into account the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, a great deal of effort is required to achieve this, and the biggest barrier is the lack of leadership in sustainability.
So says Flavio Alzueta, Vice President of GLOBALG.A.P., the organization that promotes sustainability in numerous agricultural sectors worldwide. In February, he will speak at a Koppert meeting during the Fruit Logistica international trade fair in Berlin. His talk is sure to also discuss a number of obstacles on the road to a more sustainable world, such as the lack of adequate leadership.
Speaking on a personal note, Flavio Alzueta believes that sustainability is moving at several different speeds globally. He explains: ‘We know that the European Union has already reached a number of targets earlier than other regions of the world. However, the United States refuses to recognize the impact a changing climate is having on our world, which is regrettable. Political leaders must understand that sustainability strategies are far from cost items. They're quite the opposite: they save money.’
Flavio Alzueta believes that the necessary impulses need to come from other sections of society. ‘Thankfully, we're seeing signs of that. Societies and their citizens are rapidly changing and demanding that politicians really get to grips with the enormous challenge of increasing sustainability.’
To achieve progress, however, it is crucial that all parties agree on the objective. According to Flavio Alzueta, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) offer an excellent toolkit that helps all those who are committed to sustainability. ‘In addition to this, these objectives must form part of business and government strategies. And of course, individual citizens can also make changes to their everyday lives.’
Adding value to chains
GLOBALG.A.P. has an important role, given the myriad of areas in which it is active. The organization was founded in order to promote Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) worldwide. ‘Members of both the public and private sector agree that our GAPs form the foundation on which to build sustainable agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture and livestock production. This is because these practices are so multifaceted, involving water usage, animal welfare, the sensible use of antibiotics, the use of only authorized plant protection products, and so on.’
GLOBALG.A.P. was specially developed for small and mid-sized farms and horticultural companies, which are often family businesses. ‘If we can offer them a transparent system that guarantees traceability, we can foster Mutual trust in the global trade in agricultural products and work towards achieving several objectives at the same time. This is how GLOBALG.A.P. adds value to production and distribution chains in agriculture, and we will continue to build on this.’
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