Working Groups

The Working Groups are a comprehensive tool for achieving the objectives of Ethical Trade Forums at a strategic level, as they address highly important topics in which companies and other stakeholders can find solutions to promote good practices related to sustainability in the Spanish agri-food sector.

Working Groups are open to the participation of member companies, as well as professionals from our stakeholder groups (associations, social initiatives, trade unions, academic institutions, public administration, etc.) who wish to contribute their insights on matters affecting the sector.

ACTIVE WORKING GROUPS

Health & Safety

 

Context

 

Address the following challenges or areas of work identified as priorities:

  • Compliance requirement: creation of list (checklist) of all H&S aspects included in social audits and recommendations for the standardization of criteria.
  • Preventative culture: fostering effective implementation of preventive culture; throughout the chain of command, from management to workers, facing I the organisational and management challenges through an innovative way (common in multicultural environments).
  • Community of best practices: Identifying, exchanging and attracting good practices and new trends to be shared and spread amongst the sector.

 

 
Creation

 

2023
Achievements

 

  • Kick-off meeting in November 2023, definition of working areas and coordinators.
2023 Goals

 

  • Define action plans for each work area.
  • Involve and invite relevant stakeholders to shape the goals of each working area.
Coordinators

 

     

 

Participants

 

                     

 

Updated as of November 2023

Labour Consultancies and Accountancy Firms

 

Context

 

Small and medium-sized enterprises delegate their legal obligations in many areas to management and labour advisory firms, and there is an increasing number of non-financial mandatory requirements emerging. Companies will surely seek support from their labour consultancies and accountancy firms in meeting these requirements. The group’s objective is to research and create materials and resources that allow for understanding and reducing the gap related to ethical trade and its requirements, as well as the significant role that accountancy firms play in this field.

 

 
Creation

 

2022

Achievements

 

  • Initial meeting with the College of Social Graduates in Murcia to establish a collaboration plan (changes in the board of directors led to a pause in the discussions).
2023 Goals

 

Establish a collaboration agreement with associations or colleges of social graduates to:

  • Explore and define the starting situation regarding the knowledge and experience of professionals in this sector.
  • Based on this foundation, define the most immediate need to be addressed and the type of resource to be used.
  • Disseminate this knowledge through collaborative seminars and workshops.
Coordinators

 

 

 

Participants

 

             

 

Updated as of October 2023

Environmental Sustainability

 

Context

 

Due to the breadth of the term “environmental sustainability,” the working group conducted a priority survey in 2023 to establish the different areas of action for the group, with the aim of promoting various activities within a European framework in different relevant areas of work for the sector. The following have been the priority topics that the group will channel future actions towards:

  • Environmental standards (SPRING, LEAF, Naturland, etc.)
  • Biodiversity in the agri-food sector
  • Sustainability in the use and selection of packaging
  • Waste management
  • Responsible management and handling of phytosanitary products
  • Organic production
 
Creation

 

2021

Achievements

 

  • Publication of an introductory guide and best practices for calculating the carbon footprint in the horticultural sector (available only in Spanish).
  • Organisation and participation ov various workshops, seminars and best practices in different relevant areas for the sector:
    • March 2021 – Workshop within regional online event: presentation of best practices in environmental sustainability.
    • May 2021 – Online Seminar: Carbon footprint
    • June 2021 – Workshop within international online event: circular economy.
    • September 2021– Online seminar: Responsible use of water
    • November 2021 – Expert Round Table within online event: Water – environmental challenge and possible technological solutions. The Mar Menor case.
    • February 2022 – Online seminar: Circular economy and waste management.
    • March 2022 – Event in Huelva: Best agronomic practices for irrigation in the surroundings of the Doñana National Park.
    • March 2022 – Workshops within regional events in Almeria, Murcia and Huelva: efficient use of water.
    • April 2022: Online seminar: sustainable water and soil management.
    • June 2022 – Workshop within international event in Granada: Environmental criteria in agriculture standards.
    • November 2022 – Regional events titled “After the water and carbon footprint in the agrifood sector” in Almeria, Huelva and Valencia (presentations, workshops and best practices).
    • June 2022 – Workshop within international event in Sevilla and Murcia: LEAF Marqu
2023 Goals

 

  • Biodiversity seminar.
  • Packaging seminar/workshop: importance of packaging choice in sustainability strategy.
  • Simple and accessible comparison of different environmental standards and their requirements.
  • Collaboration with sector organizations to conduct practical workshops on waste management.
Coordinators

 

 

 

Participants

 

                                         

 

Updated as of October 2023

Grievance Mechanisms

 

Context

 

Promote and manage the establishment of an independent and centralized grievance mechanism for the sector, along with the necessary training resources for its proper implementation.

 

 
Creation

 

2020

Achievements

 

  • Creation and development of a guide for complaint management mechanisms for workers (available only in Spanish)..
  • Various workshops during in-person meetings for the development of the complaint management mechanism for the Forums.
  • Active participation in the creation of protocols and procedures defining the mechanism.
  • November 2021 – Workshop within online event: Understanding the new European Directive and practical implementation of grievance mechanisms in the sector.
  • June 2022 – Workshop within international event in Granada: Grievance mechanisms.
2023 Goals

 

  • Establish a pilot experience with a limited number of companies and continue supporting the organization in modifying and creating necessary protocols and procedures.
  • Update the complaint mechanism guide.
Coordinators

 

 

 

Participants

 

                     

 

Updated as of October 2023

Dialogue between company and worker representatives

 

Context

 

Creation of a conducive environment for the promotion, training, and practical implementation of social dialogue between companies and workers.

 

 
Creation

 

2020

Achievements

 

2023 Goals

 

  • Continue and promote practical training among companies in the agri-food sector.
Coordinators

 

 

 

Participants

 

               

 

Updated as of October 2023

Circular Labour Migration

 

Context

 

Promote a Feasible and Transferable Personalized Employment and Social Integration Plan (IPIL in Spanish) in different contexts in Spain through the concatenation of seasonal work.

 

 
Creation

 

2018

Achievements

 

  • Establishment of an initial, small network of companies and social organizations to manage a potential sequence of workers.
  • Use of the experience of Cáritas Huelva and Huelva Acoge in protocols for interviewing and preselecting seasonal workers living in shantytowns.
  • Online seminar to promote the project along with best practices.
2023 Goals

 

  • Strengthen the network of companies in need of seasonal workers.
  • Strengthen the network of social organizations with job pools and connections with vulnerable workers.
  • Plan and develop parallel activities that contribute to achieving the project’s objectives through digitalization.
Coordinators

 

 

 

Participants

 

               

 

Updated as of October 2023

Ethical Trade Forum´s Guiding Principles

 

Context

 

Creation and evolution of the guiding principles of the Forums, as well as tools that facilitate companies in monitoring risks and providing appropriate resources to promote best practices.

 

 
Creation

 

2019

Achievements

 

2023 Goals

 

  • Continue reviewing and updating points in the guide and checklist that have become obsolete.
  • Obtain best practices and testimonials from companies that are using or have used them.
  • Explore new ways to make the tool as interactive as possible and user-friendly.
Coordinators

 

 

 

Participants

 

             

 

Updated as of October 2023

Communication (Stand-by)

 

Context

 

The objective of this group is to support the association in the publication of newsletters and communication actions both externally and internally.

 

 
Creation

 

2019
Achievements

 

  • Reviewing the content of quarterly newsletters and news.
2023 Goals

 

  • Strengthening and reactivating the communication efforts of the association.
 
Coordinators

 

 

 

 

 
Participants

 

 

                 

 

Updated as of October 2023

INACTIVE OR FINALISED WORKING GROUPS

Responsible Use of Labour Providers

 

Context

 

Develop a tool aimed at providing a series of best practices and recommendations in various areas of the daily management of temporary labour providers, targeted at user companies responsible for creating optimal conditions for both the labour provider and the assigned workers to perform their tasks correctly.

 

 
Activity period

 

2018 – 2021
Achievements

 

 
Participants

 

 

         

 

Updated as of October 2023

Covid-19

 

Context

 

In a constantly changing environment during the pandemic, both in terms of personal and professional requirements, members of the association formed this working group to provide clear and effective information to companies in the sector during this period of change.

 

 
Activity period

 

2020 – 2021
Achievements

 

Creation of four key guides on the following topics:

 

 
Participants

 

 

                                   

 

Updated as of October 2023

Field Worker Survey

 

Context

 

Develop a tool aimed at assessing the level of well-being/engagement of workers. By designing a bank of 30 questions directed at workrers, it is possible to improve the work environment, identify future risks, or measure the assessment of various aspects within the company.

 

 
Activity period

 

2019 – 2021
Achievements

 

  • Reach a consensus on a set of questions so that companies can choose the type of questionnaire to administer to their employees.
  • Collaboration with &Wider for the implementation of this project.
  • Collaboration with &Wider and favourable conditions for members of the Forums for the provision of this service.
  • Terms and brochure for the survey service: HERE
 
Coordinators

 

 
Participants

 

                     

Updated as of October 2023

Worker Accommodation

 

Context

 

Develop a tool that enables employers to focus their efforts on providing decent accommodation for the personnel they hire. Compile guidelines and best practices that are realistic and useful for employers regarding how to manage accommodations for temporary workers.

 

 
Activity period

 

2018 – 2020
Achievements

 

 
Participants

 

 

                      

 

Updated as of October 2023

Grower-Customer Empathy

 

Context

 

Understand and manage diversity in the broadest sense within organizations in the agri-food sector, bringing together the challenges of producers and customers to promote better empathy and decision-making.

 

 
Activity period

 

2019 – 2020
Achievements

 

 
Coordinators

 

 
Participants

 

             

Updated as of October 2023

Equality and Prevention and Action against Workplace Harassment

 

Context

 

Recognizing the need to protect fundamental rights, especially equality and dignity in the workplace, and due to the lack of clear guidelines on how to manage “workplace harassment” of any kind, there arises a need to create a protocol with the aim of serving as a guide for companies in the horticultural sector to ensure a safe working environment.

 

 
Activity period

 

2019 – 2020
Achievements

 

 
Participants

 

 

          

 

Updated as of October 2023