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Siete Agromarketing and eComercio Agrario, organized the 4th Woman Agro Awards in Mercamadrid on March 16, 2022 in a hybrid way, in recognition of the agri-food sector and its commitment to the implementation of equality plans in companies. They have done so under the motto: ‘Equality is everyone’s task’. A message that was highlighted during her speech, at the closing of the event, by María Ángeles Benítez Salas, Director of the Representation of the European Commission in Spain, who gave data on the differences in ownership of agri-food companies between men and women that exist in the European Union. The average is 30%, a percentage that is around the ownership of women in Spain. However, as María Ángeles Benítez Salas has reflected, “it is far from the figures recorded in the Baltic Countries, where it rises to 50%”. However, “there are many differences between Member States.” And it is that, for example, in the Netherlands, Malta or Germany, only 10% of the owners of agri-food companies are women”.
The winners of this fourth edition of the Woman Agro Awards have been Manuela Juárez Iglesia, Former CSIC Researcher, Current Research Professor “ad honorem” CIAL (CSIC-UAM) in the Woman Category; Marta García Martínez, responsible for the livestock farm “Val del Mazo”, in the Entrepreneurship Category; Verdimed, a fruit and vegetable production and export company located in the Region of Murcia, in the Company Category, Juan Rafael Leal Rubio, president of Andalusian Agri-Food Cooperatives, in the Men’s Category; Remedios Sánchez Quirós, rancher at the Camino Roya goat farm, in the Youth Category; and Bioazul, winning company in the new category of the AGRO Woman Awards, Food Tech.
The award given to Bioazul was received by our CEO Antonia Lorenzo, who thanked all the colleagues who were part of the RichWater project for their work and dedication, since without them this innovative technology for the reuse of water in agriculture would not have been possible to develop it. She also had words of thanks for all the women in her personal and professional sphere who have inspired and supported her to grow more every day. The jury, for its part, unanimously valued the quality of this project since it solves two real problems in our country: the necessary circularity of water and the saving of fertilizers. Likewise, he also valued the social and economic impact, as well as various equality policies that are carried out within Bioazul, together with the fact that the project is led by a woman, and made up mostly of women.
Prior to the awards ceremony, the round table “The Importance of Equality Plans in the agri-food sector” was held. Tania Lucía Benito, Head of the Women’s Area of the General Subdirectorate for Dynamization of the Rural Environment, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, who assured that real equality in society, in general, and in rural areas, in particular , the differences and gaps are accentuated. In her intervention, she made reference to the policies that favor equality and that are carried out by the Government of Spain. She spoke of opportunities such as the one revealed by the inclusion of gender equality in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Currently, according to the latest data available, only 32% of farms are owned by women, “a low percentage” that commits us to continue working to close all existing gaps in rural areas.
For her part, Susana Estudillos Esteban, Manager of Equality, Diversity and Social Responsibility at AENOR, pointed out “the importance that, as an added value, companies are certified in equality. “Diversity helps to face situations that a company finds itself in on a daily basis, helping it to be more productive and competitive”. Estudillo explained that the role of equality in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, being the fifth goal of the SDGs. “Carrying out an equality plan and maintaining that commitment is advancing in social sustainability within the company.”
Susana Camarero Benítez, President of the National Confederation of Women in Equality, Consultant and Former Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, also participated in this gathering, who focused on detailing how an Equality Plan is developed and implemented in the company and the importance not to stop there, but to establish a continuous monitoring of it. “It is an opportunity for companies that allows them to achieve a balance by seeking diversity, improving their competitiveness, image and human resources.” She waiter alluded to key concepts in the development of an Equality Plan, such as promotion, talent, training, conciliation or co-responsibility.
Bienvenida Pascual Sánchez, Vice President of the San Isidro Agricultural Cooperative (CASI), explained the experience of the cooperative of which she is a member and in which she assumes a position of responsibility in the Governing Council, in which, since the last internal democratic elections To the configuration of the highest governing body of the Cooperative and the Presidency, in 2021, the associates, more than a thousand farmers, decided that three women, for the first time, would be part of the Governing Council. Thanks to the work carried out at CASI through its Equality Plan, the cooperative is advancing in the normality that men and women can perform the same functions, with the same criteria and conditions. Welcome Pascual assured that “we perceive a change in mentality, fueled by the new generations, showing that we are advancing in equality and in which women are assuming roles of responsibility and decision, in all departments.”
The event was actively followed on social networks and live streaming. Under the hashtag #MujerAGRO, #PremiosMujerAGRO and #IVPremiosMujerAGRO, more than 500 tweets were reached. This has meant that the hashtags have had a potential impact of more than 2,263,000 views. During the broadcast, the meeting reached a total of 200 views.
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