• The CEO of Fruits de Ponent spoke on the second day of the Leaders Summit explaining the position of his group with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
• “You cannot produce healthy food in a sustainable way without fertile soil, without good management of water resources, without biodiversity, without access to fair trade, without decent work for our workers,” he says.
Josep Presseguer, CEO of the Fruits de Ponent Cooperative Group, spoke today at Leaders Summit, the annual summit of the United Nations Global Compact, to explain his group's commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Fruits de Ponent was chosen by the United Nations Global Compact to represent the Spanish fruit sector on the second day of this event, focused on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Presseguer began his intervention by recalling that "the agri-food sector in general, and our group in particular, have a current mission based on sustainably producing healthy foods and contributing to the well-being of society."
In the case of Fruits de Ponent, “we do it from our cooperative DNA”, and therefore, “faithful to the principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Our cooperative ecosystem is based on 100% democratic governance in which each member has a vote with equal rights and duties ”.
That is why, “within the framework of the tenth anniversary of the Guiding Principles on companies and Human Rights, we want to reaffirm our total and absolute commitment to integrate these principles into our business strategy, in all areas of our organization and in all the stakeholders with whom we interact ”.
The cooperative DNA is also manifested, according to Presseguer, in "being centered on people" and their rights through the implementation of the United Nations framework that develops the trinomial protect, respect, repair ". That is why, from the group's management, "we subscribe and assume the 10 principles declared in the United Nations Global Compact of the year 2000", with special attention to "supporting, respecting and protecting, by the company, the rights internationally recognized fundamental human beings ”.
Presseguer also recalled that Fruits de Ponent has a gender equality plan and a protocol to prevent any type of sexual harassment. He has also specified that they are a cooperative that "we work with and from multiculturalism, with more than twenty nationalities", which is "a great opportunity to achieve the value of cohesion from mutual respect".
He also highlighted that they have a Foundation that has signed numerous collaboration agreements with NGOs of all kinds, and that "our external view is focused on respect for Human Rights in the value chains of our business sector."
Finally, Presseguer has insisted that "the challenges of companies like ours are irretrievably linked to respect for the planet", since "healthy food cannot be produced in a sustainable way without fertile soil, without good management of water resources , without biodiversity, without access to fair trade, without decent work for our workers ”.
For all this, he concluded, Fruits de Ponent incorporates "the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations 2030 Agenda to all corners of our organization", something that can be measured based on indicators.
Leaders Summit mobilizes and connects thousands of business leaders, policy makers, representatives of civil society and the academic world, from around the world, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year's meeting was to be held in person at the United Nations headquarters, but finally a virtual format was chosen on June 15 and 16.
On this occasion, topics such as the convergent crises of climate change, the global pandemic of Covid-19, the worsening of social and economic inequality, and rampant corruption have been addressed, while offering a roadmap for a sustainable recovery.