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Achieving greater prominence, the main challenge for women in the agri-food sector

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The importance of achieving a greater share of representativeness and protagonism is evidenced as the main challenge that still has to face the woman within the agri-food sector. A collective that constitutes a fundamental pillar for the development and future of the agri-food activity, as it has been revealed in the 1st National Business Forum Agro Women Agroprofessional. For Equal Opportunities’. This event has been organized by SIETE Agromarketing and e-Commerce Agrario on June 7th with the institutional collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development (CAPDER) of the Regional Government of Andalusia, the Andalusian Institute for Women, as well as the Caja Rural del Sur Foundation.

Combating the invisibility that this group still suffers is the main objective of initiatives such as the Shared Ownership Act, or the Plan for Equal Opportunities between Men and Women in Agrifood and Fisheries, promoted by the Andalusian Government

That Equality will only be possible when companies and their managers are involved in this challenge, and that a real incorporation of women is necessary to make their activity visible in an area where they are still few, have been some of the main conclusions of this Forum. In this context, the future CAP, as of 2020, represents a unique opportunity for this group to play the leading role in the new rural environment that will be shaped.

The Forum, moderated by the scriptwriter, producer andhttp://www.mapama.gob.es/en/ director of social cinema, Mabel Lozano, and the agro-alimentary journalist Cesar Marcos, was inaugurated by the Andalusian councilors of Agriculture, Fishing and Rural Development, Carmen Ortiz, and of Equality and Policies Social, María José Sánchez.

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Opening table.

Opening table.

The Andalusian holder of Agriculture has highlighted the Equality Plan launched by her Department as an excellent tool to keep the agricultural sector and the rural milieu alive

For her part, María José Sánchez recalled the essential role played by women in the establishment of population in rural areas. It has also emphasized the importance of promoting equality in all areas beyond agri-food.

After the intervention of both representatives of the Board, the first round table was held, ‘We are still few. We need more representation in the sector ‘, in which participated Manuel García Benítez, general director of Sustainable Development of the Rural Environment of CAPDER; the Assistant Director-General for Modernization of Exploitation of MAPAMA, Carolina Gutiérrez Ansotegui; the president of ASAJA Young national, Paola del Castillo; the secretary general of COAG Andalucía, Miguel López; and the deputy secretary general of UPA, Montse Cortiñas.

The representatives of the Andalusian and national administrations have recognized that both sector and administrations must continue working together to invest still low numbers of women’s presence in the agri-food sector, which do not correspond to reality, since their work has been invisible on most occasions.

For their part, the agrarian organizations have agreed on the work they are doing to ensure that women enjoy greater representation. All have recognized that women in the agri-food sector are more professionalized and have demanded legislation that contributes to alleviate the gap between men and women.

Ana Bujaldón, president of the Spanish Federation of Executive, Professional, and Business Women (FEDEPE), emphasized the importance of “not giving up on the Feminine talent in all areas and insist on continuing to invest resources to achieve equal opportunities that is not yet given”. Nevertheless, it has sent a message of optimism, since it has been noticed an advance in the presence of women in the boards of Administration of the companies of the agro-alimentary sector.

Gender parity in the corporate environment, cooperatives, etc. has centered the following round table, which included Jerónima Bonafé Ramis, member of the Rector Council of Agro-food Cooperatives of Spain and president of the Women’s Association of Agro-food Cooperatives, AMCAE; Montse García, Grower and Channel Services Manager of BAYER; as well as María Patrocinio Álvarez Padilla, director of operations and continuous improvements of Caja Rural del Sur; and Juan José Lunar, director of HR of COVAP.

The members of this panel have affirmed that more and more are being worked from the agro-business sector to reduce the differences between men and women, something that requires a constant effort in raising awareness. They have also stressed the need to end topics and stereotypes in a sector that has traditionally been very masculinized.

The next table, ‘Road to entrepreneurship and innovation. How to build a reality ‘, has again, among its participants with Jerónima Bonafé, which has been joined by Teresa López, president of FADEMUR; Maria Inmaculada Idáñez Vargas, president of the Confederation CERES, and Lola Merino, president of Amfar.

The Shared Ownership Act has centered the interventions of this table, indicating it as a fundamental instrument to facilitate the access of the female collective to the agricultural sector.

The importance of establishing representation quotas that contribute to the greater visibility of women in the agro-industrial sector has been another of the points addressed in this Forum

Public assistant.

Public assistant.

The second block has begun with the presentation ‘Four ways of motivation’, by the psychologist and journalist, Isabel Rojas. It has referred to the importance of self-motivation to achieve the goals set and to “never give up”.

At the fourth and last round table of the day, ‘From our experience’, some of the most important productive sectors in the national agri-food sector have been present. Olive oil has been represented by Rosa Vaño, marketing expert and co-owner of Castillo de Canena Olive Juice; the hortofrutícola by Isabel Martín, representative of FRESHUELVA and FEPEX, and by Nuria Martínez Barea, director of the Association “5 a day”; and the cattleman by Mª Ángeles Blanco, responsible for Services to the Cattleman, Consortium Promotion of Sheep. All of them have made known their experience as successful entrepreneurial women, agreeing on the importance of weaving a network of collaboration between those who integrate this group, to reach the same level of representation that has the man in the agro-food company. “You have to work, be consistent and demonstrate what we are worth”.

Other organizations that have participated in this event have been the Agro-alimentary Cooperatives of Spain, FEPEX, the Association 5 AL DÍA, the main professional organizations: UPA, COAG and ASAJA, together with their respective associations FADEMUR, CERES and AMFAR. Integral Media and the Regulatory Council of the DO Sierra Mágina have also collaborated, with the Gold Sponsorship of BAYER and COVAP and the Silver Sponsorship of AEFA, UNICA GROUP and CASER SEGUROS.

You can know more about this Forum, visiting the web http://www.mujeragro.es and in the hashtag #mujerAGRO

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➡️Visit the website of the 1st National Forum on Agro-professional Women, organized by SIETE Agromarketing and ECA

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