Sergio J. Quesada, PhD, from ENCO (SISTERS partner), attended the event FRUITATTRACTION 2022, celebrated between October 4th – 6th 2022 in MADRID, at IFEMA Congress Palace.
This edition consolidated the position of FRUITATTRACTION (https://www.ifema.es/en/fruit-attraction) as a global leader in the fields of agricultural fruit production and importation-exportation by surpassing the figures seen in 2019, until now the most successful edition in its history, with 1,800 companies from 55 countries, more than 58,000 m2 of fruit and vegetable produce on offer and an expected attendance of 90,000 professionals from 130 countries.
This event is the ideal forum to discuss the results of SISTERS, especially the Short-Chain Platform, since the audience is mainly producers. But between associations and exporting companies, there was also an opportunity to present the rest of the results.
The reception was very good. In general, in the production/distribution/export-import sector there is little awareness of public funding opportunities at EU level for innovation in the sector, and interest in SISTERS was considerable.
As a general conclusion, one of the main claims of the actors in the chain is that more regulatory action is needed to ease the risk involved in adopting (paying for) innovative solutions, for which there is a risk of not being profitable. A greater obligation towards embedding responsible and ethical practices across all aspects of company operations and delivering corporate social coherence (CSR) would go some way towards resolving the tension between a company’s need to maximize profits while also constructing policies to regulate potentially adverse activities and enact programs to ensure equitable and sustainable development.
Second, governments are in the path to enabling an environment for business to address the SDGs. However, it will be necessary for governments to also enact appropriate legislation to oblige businesses to be more social and environmentally responsible.
Private sector will be forced to change more in future, as we move from a situation where CSR reporting has mainly been driven by the needs of risk management or to provide positive publicity on a company or brand, to more comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of the impacts and effectiveness of CSR activities, including comprehensive systems evaluations and procedural indicators.