Nitin Agrawal of Euro Fruits in India has been recognised for “25 years of innovation, success and stewardship” at the second annual Amsterdam Produce Show.
In the award presented by Produce Business Magazine yesterday morning, publication co-founder and event organiser Jim Prevor honoured Agrawal for fostering India’s table grape export industry.
The recognition was given prior to the Perishable Pundit’s Thought Leaders Breakfast Panel.
“Thank you very much for inviting me for this wonderful show – this is a first of its kind of show in Amsterdam, so we very much welcome this because Holland is definitely one of the most important centres for the distribution of fresh produce,” Agrawal said during the ceremony.
Later in the day, Prevor interviewed Agrawal at the event’s “Van Gough” seminar stage, where the Indian entrepreneur highlighted the importance of good relationships, a willingness to make mistakes in business but not repeat them, and the importance of the company’s social programmes.
These programmes include an English medium school in the area near Euro Fruits’ farms and a programme for protecting women who have been abandoned for giving birth to girls.
The executive said this second scheme might be shocking to people from the West, but the group has looked after 10,000 women until they were brought back into care from their families.
“There was a time when the European retailers or the importers were only interested in the product….today they are more interested to know about the social initiatives we are doing,” Agrawal said.
He emphasised that while retailers were putting increased pressure on exporters to have socially-oriented certifications, they ought to be undertaken with a genuine approach.
“I personally don’t feel it’s the certification that matters. It is just a piece of paper. It has to come from the heart,” he said.
Stay tuned for more on Prevor’s discussion with Agrawal, and a whole lot more, through our Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference post-coverage that will be taking place over the coming weeks.