Latin American Seminar Dairy Sector: Hector Luis Ponce of ATILRA is elected President of the Executive Committee
Buenos Aires, August 17, 2012
Over 15 and August 16 it was held at the Hotel Panamericano in Buenos Aires, the Latin American Seminar of the Dairy Sector-Rel-IUF International Union of Food-, the conclave was led by the Secretary General of ATILRA Hector Luis Ponce, who holds the position of President of the International Dairy Division, who was joined on the board by Melquiades de Araujo of Brazil and the General Secretary of the IUF Latin America, the Uruguayan Gerardo Iglesias. Various industry representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Nicaragua and Uruguay attended the seminar.
Information sharing and reflection on the progress of the dairy and country specific conflicts were addressed by the participants in order to set a common agenda for sector organizations.
Participants spoke about various topics as projections of primary production and the relationship of this phase to the process of industrialization and commercialization of products, the presence of new actors on the stage of the activity and anti-union behavior of some multinationals that violate the rights of workers.
The development of the discussion made clear that while the problems are heterogeneous, so long as business and government behaviors differ, there is an inextricable link between the workers of the region based on solidarity and mutual assistance, and when situations so warrant, as expressed Hector Ponce, from “solidarity we must go to practice.”
Also ATILRA Secretary General remarked, “The work sector alone can not save, but we must realize that we are part of an integrated chain. In the case of our country, Argentina, our organization does not compete with dairy farmers, on the contrary: we want them to have good returns, for the simple reason that they are the basis of the activity. Our relationship with them and the government is consistent. We analyze situations and then claim what we believe is rightfully ours.”
It should be noted at the conference the intervention of representatives of primary production, the Undersecretary of the National Dairy and industry, in addition to the ILO representative for Argentina, Marcelo Castro Fox, who talked about the difficulties prevailing in the chain activity.
On the last day of the conclave the Latin American Committee of the dairy sector was created, leaving the presidency in the hands of Hector Luis Ponce (ATILRA-Argentina) and integrated by the Companions Melquiades Araujo (CNTA-Nestlé-Brazil), Milton Ruiz (CONTAC- Brazil) Alexander Caballero (CGTP-ABA-Peru), Guillermo Yegros (Lactaris Workers Union-ex-Parmalat Paraguay) and Aldo Lezana (Fonterra-Soprole-Chile). The Central region is represented by an organization to be appointed in the near future.
This structure will be enforceable and will also have responsibility for analyzing and resolving political and common strategic guidelines to all sister organizations in the dairy sector in our region.