Friend of the month: José Luis Gómez (COL)

Have your say in November… José Luis Gómez from Colombia!

By: Juliana Díaz.

In this month we want to introduce a member of the Florverde Sustainable Flowers Advisory Council, José Luis Gómez, from the Action Fund.  

José Luis has a Bachelor Degree in Economist with a Specialization in Energy Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia (1985), and a Master’s degree in Political Economy from the New School for Social Research, New York, United States (1990); Fulbright Scholarship 1987-1989.

He directs “Fondo Acción” since 2004. He has more than twenty years of experience as a civil servant in institutions such as: the National Institute of Natural Resources, the National Planning Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He has worked as a consultant to the World Bank, IFAD and FAO, IICA. 

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What motivated you to accept the invitation to be part of the Advisory council, the decision-making body, of Florverde® Sustainable Flowers?

José Luis: I have followed the development of FSF, and the industry’s focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility has always interested me. They are leaders in these aspects and I think it is important and relevant for me to take part in the Council because it is a way to support an approach that suits both the private sector and society.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What is the role of an organization, like the one you represent, when being part of the Advisory Council for Florverde® Sustainable Flowers?

José Luis: The Action Fund, the foundation that I have directed for the past twelve years, fully agrees with FSF on the need to invest in sustainability. Every floriculture company that adopts the FSF scheme is making one of the most profitable investments that the industry can make in our country, allocating human and financial resources for environmental and social sustainability.
All of these companies have decided to change their behavior and policies in terms of their employees and workers; likewise, they have adopted a responsible and sustainable use of natural resources. As the representative of environmental organizations of the civil society sector, my role is to contribute to decision making, as well as communicate the benefits and the positive impacts of FSF.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: In social and environmental terms, how does Floverde® Sustainable Flowers contribute to the floriculture industry?

José Luis: FSF has many virtues: it provides good practices for environmental sustainability, it introduces a culture of change in terms of relations with employees and field workers, and it positions the industry to meet the challenges that need to be addressed in an interconnected world where consumers increasingly demand higher standards in environmental and social sustainability.
I believe that by adopting the FSF scheme and investing in sustainability, floriculture companies agree to embrace the future. Those who miss the train and don’t make a difference in these areas will miss the opportunity to participate in the most profitable segments of the market.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: How important is it for a label like Florverde® Sustainable Flowers to work towards the preservation of natural resources like water?

José Luis: Water is one of the main natural resources for floriculture. The FSF seal emphasizes the importance of managing water resources on several fronts, including catchment structures, conveyance and storage, use of rainwater, and optimization of irrigation systems. It also highlights the importance of monitoring values ​​of some parameters of the water used by the industry and that which is returned to the environment.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers:  What has been the most significant achievement of the Advisory Board from your point of view as a member of this decision making body, and why?

José Luis: I’d like to highlight the participation in the Advisory Council of representatives from different sectors and their consensual decision-making in regards to the future of the mechanism. A notable achievement is the internal positioning of the standards in the industry and their recognition and approval by other standards and international entities.

Get to know more about the Governance of Florverde Sustainable Flowers in this link
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to read all of them!