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Strengthening the CuidAgroSM, CampoLimpioSM programs, confronting the illegal trade of inputs and ensuring the financing of these initiatives are the pillars of the sustainability strategy of the Association of the Agricultural Chemical Guild, Agrequima, in Guatemala.

By: Jorge Hernández Juárez
Director Ejecutivo de Agrequima

January 2024

In 2019, Agrequima worked jointly with the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility Action (CENTRARSE), which is the main business network on responsible and sustainable behavior in Guatemala. A consultancy that resulted in a book called “The Contributions of Agrochemicals to Society.” ( Neither the Board of Directors, nor members, nor collaborators of Agrequima imagined what this consultancy and this book would represent for the future of our association. Without having seen it before, we realized that all our programs contribute to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations (UN). This led us to define our baseline, prioritize stakeholders, bring this to materiality, establishing a sustainability strategy that would lead to a work plan with its respective monitoring and reporting, to be able to land with all these inputs, a strategic communication plan. around the SDGs. With the arrival of the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020, like many people and institutions, the Board of Directors of Agrequima decided to pause along the way to analyze where the association was, what the purposes of the institution were and in what direction it should go. Discovering that our programs and services are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals was key to communicating our contribution to sustainability.

titulo agrequima

Taking into account the background described, the 2021-2025 Strategy of our association was born with 4 pillars perfectly identified with their respective goals and key indicators:

  1. CampoLimpio℠, which consists of expanding the collection infrastructure to increase the volume of material that is recovered, inviting new plastic-emitting actors within the agricultural sector to be part of our program and thus honor its name by saying that In Guatemala there is a “clean field.” And finally, be more efficient in managing the waste that the program removes from Guatemalan agriculture.
  2. Fortalecimiento de CuidAgro℠, que se centra en la promoción de una agricultura productiva y sostenible, por medio  de la implementación de buenas prácticas agrícolas y tecnologías apropiadas. Ahora en las capacitaciones de Agrequima se habla con total soltura de temas vinculados a la sostenibilidad como; cosecha de agua, salud del suelo, agricultura regenerativa, biodiversidad y mitigación de riesgos,  entre otros. Para todo esto, la reportería de todos los colaboradores ha ido cambiando y se ha enfocado hacia los ODS, para tener aún más insumos en la comunicación estratégica.

    CampoLimpio - CuidAgro en Guatemala
  3. Combat Illegal Trade, where there must be close interaction with the involved authorities and support for our members in presenting information to these institutions in order to have results, not only of seizures, but also of raising awareness in stores and farmers about the risks of using illegal products.
  4. Seek greater certainty in the collection of the contribution for the importation of pesticides in Guatemala, which represents 60% of the financing of all Agrequima programs. .

Comercio Ilegal -Guatemala

Moving forward in the reporting system with sustainability indicators, in 2022, our first sustainability report was prepared under the international GRI standard, with emphasis on the CampoLimpio℠ program. This exercise allowed us to add other indicators, which support management transparency (View report)

Despite having the 2021-2025 strategy with its objectives, goals and indicators so clear, there are still many aspects to improve and like any strategy it must be reviewed and updated according to the situation of the country, society and humanity.  However, the path has been laid out and the results have been successful and important for the association, the industry, the agricultural sector and the country.  With this new dynamic, Agrequima has become a benchmark within the agricultural sector; the doors have opened up to be able to present agreed positions as a country in international forums, convention meetings, administration of trade agreements, etc. As an industry, throughout the region we have many good things to communicate and influence, perhaps in recent years we have lacked finding the how and, in our case as an association, sustainability has become an efficient and high-impact channel to continue working and promoting the industry license that allows us to continue operating.