A space of trust, a laboratory of experiences, a collaborative initiative
After some small events that started in 2012, the ETHICAL TRADE FORUMS were officially launched in 2015 with the aim of creating a safe space where growers and packers of the agri food sector could share experiences and discuss the challenges related to working conditions in the sector. The purpose was to jointly seek new ideas and share good practices to be implemented in the participating companies working as a team to improve labor conditions in the sector.
These meetings were targeted to managers, directors and key operational personnel, responsible for human resources and managing workers at production sites.
Step by step, the Forums grew and opened the doors to a wider range of stakeholders who, with their knowledge and constructive participation, joined this initiative.
At the end of 2019 we reached 32 events, with over 1350 participants in our 5 years of life.
The main producers and packers of the Sector actively participate throughout the year, meeting in the Regional Forums, which are usually carried out in the areas with the highest concentration of production, (Murcia, Almería and Huelva). In these forums, the participants themselves share their good practices and have addressed, through invited experts and workshops, specific challenges such as:
- Regular employment, equality and diversity management (2012)
- The ETI Base Code and the Spanish Labor Legislation (2013)
- Appropriate management of working hours (2014)
- Labor Risks Prevention (2014)
- Inclusive communication for the cohesion of work teams (2015)
- Sustainable management systems (2015)
- Motivation of workers (2016)
- Social Audit (2016)
- Collective Agreements and Customer´s Codes of Conduct (2017)
- Ethical recruitment. Monitoring and control of Labor providers (2017)
- Conflict resolution (2018)
- Equality Plans and anti-harassment protocols (2018)
- Evaluation of social risks in the company (2019)
- Corporate Social Responsibility (2019)
The International Forums take place once a year in Murcia and Seville. They include the active participation of representatives of supermarkets and importers, so it is a unique opportunity to meet in person and exchange information on agricultural supply chains clarifying challenges, requirements and progress made throughout the year.
Parallel to the meetings, in each one of them and throughout the year the local Working Groups meet to deepen on the issues that most concern each region.
These groups are formed by active Forum participants who have expressed their willingness to work together on specific issues always related to the improvement of the welfare of workers.
Each group is led by representatives of the companies and meet throughout the year in person or online to deepen the topics discussed and develop guides, tools, protocols and materials that are then shared with the members of the Forum. They have a platform through this WEB to share information and exchange work in progress.
The conclusions of the works and the materials elaborated by the Groups are presented in the International Forums that are held annually in Murcia and Seville.
There are currently 7 Working Groups in which more than 50 companies from the sector participate, working closely with unions, social organizations and local administrations.
Who attends the Forums?
Between 2015 and 2019 they have participated in the Forum:
- Over 570 representatives of producing, packaging and exporting companies.
- Over 100 representtives of importers and supermarkets
- Over 60 subject matter experts
- 9 members of the Public Administration
- 9 unions members
- 10 social organizations
- 7 growers associations
- Also, 42 participating companies have shared presentations of their business cases and their good practices
The forums are sponsored by 24 importers/brands and 9 supermarkets as of today.