Argentina produces enough food to feed more than 400 million people. Our products include some of the world's most dynamic and competitive commodities, such as beef, wine, fishery products, fruit, flour, oil, honey and dairy products. We are convinced that adding value to our products will allow Argentina to reach new markets and achieve a greater position on the world stage.
When GFSI asked me to participate in the G2G and G2B meetings in Nice, France, I had no doubt that this invitation would be a great opportunity for Argentina. 125 representatives from governments and international organisations related to food safety took part in the meetings. Before this audience, I was proud to present the joint venture that we have been developing between the Agroindustry Secretariat and GFSI, within the framework of the agreement signed between the public and private sectors in November 2017.
This venture involves aligning the stamp “Alimentos Argentinos — Una elección natural” (Argentinian foods — a natural choice) with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements Version 7.2, using orientation and recommendation work based in the Global Markets Programme. We aim to achieve a level of food safety management that will allow small companies that carry the stamp to access international markets, thereby benefiting both the companies and the country.
By increasing Argentinian producers' awareness of international standards and technical regulations aligned with the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, we can improve economic development, eliminate trade barriers and protect consumers through a safe food supply.
As a regulator, I recognise the importance of public-private partnerships like this venture. Such partnerships are key components in the design and implementation of policies that reinforce and consolidate food safety standards. At the same time, they support the development and promotion of primary and processed products, as well as their quality and biosecurity.
During my time at the GFSI Conference, I was also proud to witness the Argentinian firm Alfa Argentina receive a Global Markets Award. GFSI created this award in 2017 to recognise firms from all over the world that have distinguished themselves on the way to achieve food safety using the Global Markets Programme. The awards ceremony was a special moment for Argentina and Latin America; the election committee gave honourable mention to the work developed across the region and granted special recognition to three other firms from Argentina and Mexico.
I should say that my GFSI Conference experience went beyond my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised not only by the joint work that GFSI develops with the public sector in many parts of the world, but also by the effort, commitment and collaboration that are part of every one of these projects.
I’ve seen closely how food industry experts and leaders come together at this event, taking part in a genuine interchange that centers around one purpose: finding solutions to achieve safe food for consumers everywhere. We are grateful to be part of this community, and we are convinced that the results will benefit Argentina, as well as each of the small and medium-sized enterprises that are working towards a better future for our country.
This blog was written and contributed by:
Secretary for Food and Bioeconomy
Agroindustry Secretariat of Argentina