|Grupo Los Grobo|
“RTRS is part of a new trend in global governance that set rules through multistakeholder involvement,” says Gustavo Grobocopatel, President of Grupo Los Grobo, one of South America’s largest soy producers. “It is very closely related to the way Los Grobo acts, as a company that regards transparency and stakeholder relations as key strategies to create shared value.”
Gustavo believes that following RTRS principles contributes to the objectives of the Global Compact, a UN initiative promoting sustainable and socially responsible business, and towards the Millennium Development Goals. RTRS certification also provides assurance that good agricultural practices are being followed.
“Committed and responsible consumers are interested in these issues being addressed and are willing to recognize the effort involved, rewarding companies that comply with and satisfy these requirements,” says Gustavo. “Los Grobo has obtained this market recognition, through certification of its operations.”
Los Grobo was one of the first producers to achieve RTRS certification in Argentina in 2011. “Operations in Argentina are almost completely under RTRS certification, and we plan to reach the same objective in Brazil and Uruguay,” says Gustavo.
As Los Grobo has been actively engaged in sustainability issues for 10 years, achieving RTRS certification hasn’t required fundamental changes. It does, though, mean strengthening controls and information systems for assuring that all criteria are met, and providing the supply chain with support and incentives to do so.
The company’s structure helped Los Grobo to become the first producer to sell RTRS soy directly to the customer – most trade at the moment is in credits guaranteeing a volume of RTRS soy, rather than the physical product. Gustavo believes that offering fully traceable soy can be important for meeting clients’ expectations, but is quick to point out that the important thing is to grow the market for RTRS soy “to provoke and incentivise positive change where it is required – which basically is out in the field and with the people involved”.