Tag Archives: South America

Latin American Media and Consumer Trends

I came across a great latin american trending site that I wanted to share. I found the following article – The 7 Hottest Products Among Latin American Shoppers – very interesting.

Due to my own professional – and personal – biases, I am glad to see travel and luxury goods on the list.

Latin America is such a diversity-rich place that trends like this speak to general tendancies in the region but, as in life itself, there are always wonderful exceptions to the rule!

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Impact, Investment and Innovation from the Andes


Today I am sharing with you a blog post from Nutrients For All posted by dosmargaritas functional foods. One of the goals of dosmargaritas is sharing the benefits of quinoa both with the developed world and with its producers – community farmers in the Andes region of South America.

I am member of the board of dosmargaritas and believe strongly in helping for profit businesses make a positive impact in our communities and our world.


Improving Access to Quinoa Based Products

Quinoa has gained unprecedented popularity in the last ten years: 2013 was declared “the year of the Quinoa” by United Nations, it is a hot item on restaurants menus and consumers are happily experimenting with it in their home kitchens. So, despite its alternate grain status, it is quickly becoming a household name.

But, as Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?”… Transcending the current quinoa craze and ensuring that the benefits of quinoa and quinoa production reach all stakeholders – in and out of the quinoa value chain – means looking at alternative ways to get quinoa and quinoa based products to market.

Ashoka’s Nutrients For All movement promotes nutrients and access to nutrient rich food choices. One of the areas we are exploring is bringing quinoa based products that are produced, packaged and tailored to a variety of well-defined markets. We are also committed to maintaining quinoa’s unique nutritional properties and ensuring participation by communities of quinoa farmers along the value chain.

Quinoa is produced by community farmers in remote areas of the Andes Mountains in South America. It is sown and harvested by hand and typically bought by merchants who resell it to companies who package or refine it. We want the producer to participate more actively in the quinoa value chain benefitting from farming it but also from it becoming more accessible to people around the world. We believe that we can improve access to quinoa and its benefits as a nutrient rich food by “linking farming to food to diet to health” thereby including more people in the “Nutrient Economy”.

It’s a challenging goal but it’s one of the ways that we want to make a tangible impact in business, in society and in quinoa producing countries.

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5 Ways to Improve Living (in Quito)

It’s a beautiful evening in Quito, Ecuador. The sun is slowly sinking behind the Andes mountain range and the sky is a fabulous blue color – a color which has inspired so many artists, poets and writers from this part of the world.

As I reflect back on 8+ years of living in Ecuador and the challenges, adversities and triumphs of doing business (and living) in the “middle of the world” I came up with this short list of ways to help you enjoy living in Quito. I think there are parts of each item on this list which are applicable to other places where you may be living. Enjoy!

1) Breathe – at 2800 m above sea level you want to take an extra breath now and then; pausing to catch ones breath (literally and metaphorically speaking) is a sign of intelligence whether in business meetings or when taking a walk in Quito’s historic old town.

2) Plant a garden – whether you live in an apartment or have a large garden in the valleys surrounding Quito, plant some flowers and herbs – you will be amazed at what the powerful Quito sun does to your little garden in less than two weeks! In the office, why not buy a dozen Ecuadorian roses that cost $3 at your local supermarket (cheaper if you negotiate with the corner flower seller!)?

3) Talk to your taxi driver – ask them questions and get their point of view on things. Obviously, I stay away from giving them too much personal info but I enjoy hearing what they think about politics, business, traffic, the weather; plus I usually make a friend by the time it comes to pay the fare.

4) Lose your fear – fear stops us from doing things and I firmly believe that fear attracts those things we fear the most; to put it more clearly, and for those who know me well, a dog smells fear. Be cautious but be strong in life and business (more on this in a later post).

5) Say Thank You – it is amazing how many people take for granted the people doing the “little” jobs. Thanking people for the big and small things they help you with makes them happy … and will make you happy. Who doesn’t like to be thanked or recognized? More and more research shows that non-monetary recognition is what is truly valued by most employees.

I would love to hear your tips – wherever you may be living!

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