The Global Aggregates Information Network (GAIN)
GAIN was founded by UEPG in 2010, driven by the conviction that international sharing of experience and best practice promotes a more efficient and sustainable aggregates industry globally. GAIN meetings were held in Brussels in October 2010, in Charlotte, NC, USA in March 2012, and then in Brussels in October 2014, attended by representatives from aggregates associations across Europe, from OSSGA of North America, FIPA of South America, CCAA of Australia, ASPASA of South Africa and CAA of China. It is impressive that GAIN members currently represent 60% of the global aggregates production estimated at 40 billion tonnes, so therefore can potentially have a major lobbying strength on behalf of the industry globally (see table). Many valuable insights and experiences were shared on common health & safety, environmental, economic, technical and public relations challenges. The discussions revealed that the industry faces similar challenges across the globe, but the various regions have devised different approaches and solutions. There are ongoing contacts between these associations, providing valuable support on specific industry challenges as they arise.
The fourth GAIN meeting, kindly hosted by ASPASA took place on April 11 and 12 in Cape Town. Representatives from Australia, China, the United States, Latin America and Europe attended the meeting, with inputs from Canada and New Zealand. Over the two meeting days, all aspects of the aggregates industry were openly discussed. Manyissues common to different global regions were identified, yet different regions have different approaches and solutions, thus making the exchanges of experiences, “gems of wisdom” and best practices extremely valuable. Several areas were identified for ongoing follow-up, which will help strengthen the industry globally. In allcountries represented, aggregates production tonnages are now either stable or increasing, which bodes well. Quarry visits were arranged for April 13, and the IOQ/ASPASA national conference followed on April 14 and 15. The next GAIN meeting is suggested to take place in 2018, Spain being proposed as a venue. For more information see the notes of the meeting.