This year, Argentine blueberries were differentiated for their unique flavor: the flavor of a kind of fruit produced with a significant social component. ABC together with DYA (Development and Self-Management) promoted PAR (Responsible Agricultural Production, free from child labor), a project that seeks to raise awareness in the community about the risks of unprotected child and adolescent work, while achieving a better quality of life for workers and their families.
This sector initiative corresponds to the present tendency of markets in promoting sustainable economic growth with decent work, in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 (SDG) established by the UN. This goal, in section 7, establishes the prohibition and elimination of child labor as one of the main factors to be complied with. The quality of our product shows commitment of the sector and our contribution to enable Argentina comply with global goals.
SOCIAL COMMITMENT AS AN ADDED VALUE
ABC, in partnership with DYA, built a Social Compliance System; a widely appreciated tool at international level (https://www.dol.gov/ilab/complychain/). It has to do with a specific adapted instrument within the framework of the PAR project to prevent child labor in the blueberry sector. This model, pioneer in the agribusiness sector of the country, studies social and labor characteristics in production environments, identifies the main tasks that could involve child / adolescent labor and their associated risks. On this basis, the System implements mechanisms to control the participation of children and adolescents and social responsibility actions to promote their school attendance.
We are closing 2019 with the implementation stage, where we designed the system with the participation of producers, contractors and workers and also tested the first training and dissemination tools in the field. Along this process, we were accompanied by the National Ministry of Production and Labor, the Provincial Secretariats for Labor and Employment, RENATRE, INTA, COPRETI and UATRE, among others.
“Standard agreements on a socially responsible production confirms the commitment we have to offer blueberries with detail care to the world. Markets and consumers have changed, therefore, from the sector we must implement the best systems to comply with current regulations. We, as a sector, want to go beyond and contribute to society, and we believe that a good way to do this is to support the education of the next generations, “stated Federico Bayá, President of ABC.
In a second stage, which begins in 2020, PAR will pilot the entire system and will be a model to all fields of the sector. It will be initially tested in three locations where companies will carry out training actions for contractors and field managers. Campaigns in communities will be conducted as well as in neighborhoods and schools where employees originally come from. Additionally, a monitoring and information system for adolescents who enter the fields will be put in place to ensure they do so under relevant regulation and in appropriate conditions. Finally, each company will have a protocol so that workers will know how to act in case of finding children and adolescents.
Sustainable economic growth implies empowering both producers and consumers to change business models. ABC, through PAR, informs consumers about compliance with these guidelines to ensure ethical and social quality in production and distribution of its products. It reveals the story behind each blueberry box that reaches the shelf. In this way, consumers will be aware of the conditions in which it is produced and will take the best decision about the products they choose.
Enjoy this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t8mJUolnVI