The food industry is committed to position itself as a key driver for Spanish growth

The food industry is committed to position itself as a key driver for Spanish growth

02/04/2014 - The Spanish Food & Drink Industry Federation (FIAB) and Kreab Gavin Anderson held yesterday in Madrid the II Food & Drink Summit, under the theme "Growing Up Thinking Big", which reviewed the challenges of the food and beverages industry in order to combine the commitment of all stakeholders to continue contributing to the Spanish economic recovery.

The forum was inaugurated by the Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría, who described the food industry as one of the greatest assets of the economic recovery. “The food and beverages industry along with the Mediterranean Diet, is one of the treasures of Marca España”, she said.

In the other hand, Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, responsible for closing the event, called to seize the moments of change and of turning points in the markets to redefine models and ensure future success.

At the meeting, the president of FIAB, Pedro Astals stressed that “now more than ever the field of food and beverages should look forward and position itself as a key driver for growth”.

“Spanish economy is at a turning point and shows clear signs of a recovery that has contributed to maintaining employment and industrial production as well as developing our full potential in foreign markets”, said Astals.

Director of Public Health and Environment of the World Health Organization, María Neira, encouraged the food industry to argue their right to influence the socio-economic development and to participate as a valid agent in the configuration progress. In his speech, Neira also referred to the role of food in obesity: “we should not demonize food, food should be part of the solution”.

Additionally, CEO of Kreab Gavin Anderson, Charlotte Erkhammar spoke about the important role of activity in the recovery of the Spanish economy and its strength in complex situations and was sure of the “significant contribution of the sector to the future of a strong economy based on talent, entrepreneurship and collaboration between companies. This second Summit notes that progress is being made in the right way”.

Opportunities and future plans
According to FIAB, reflecting on the adaptation and use of the opportunities that have arisen after the redefinition of the socio-economic model in recent years has been in the general discourse of the day.

The event featured speakers, including Amouda Goueli, CEO of Destinia.com; Patrick Villemin, director of Heineken Corporate Affairs for Africa and Middle West; and Luis Galindo, trainer and executive coach of managers.

Carina Spilzka, vice president of Unicef Spain Committee; Antonio Quirós, vice president of BQ; David Muntañola, Commercial and Marketing Director of Correos; and José Luis Zimmermann, general director of the Spanish Association of Digital Economy also took part in this event.

The debate revolved around the levers that the industry would need to take full advantage of its position and resources, among which are: training and talent, cooperation, collaboration, innovation, communication and regulation.

In this sense, Amuda Goueli stressed that “no success is an entitlement, you have to work every day and never stop learning”.

Cooperation and collaboration
In the area of cooperation and collaboration, Patrick Villemin expressed the concept of “sustainable development” that his company carries out in Africa.

According to David Muntañola “change must be sought within one’s own abilities to transform into something else”. As an example he described his own company and how they manage to combine traditional shopping with e-commerce.

José Luis Zimmerman, listed some of the changes brought by technological developments, saying “the digital environment is changing shopping habits. Companies are increasingly exposed to more regulatory pressure and growing consumer advisory capability”.

Meanwhile, Luis Galindo, author of “Reilusionarse” and responsible for conducting the workshop stressed “the need to adapt to the global market: even the most adverse situations can change with positive attitude, fearless to break the mold and taking the best version of ourselves”.

In his opinion, “the food industry is a group of unsung heroes, entrepreneurs who despite the difficult economic situation have been able to put passion and heart in what they do, making it the engine of the Spanish economy for its weight in generating employment and their export power”.

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