Ecoferia Project

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As part of the Ecoferia project I was involved in marketing and communication. One of my main tasks was to develop informational materials, relying on my nutrition background and the fact that I had done this kind of work before. Additionally, I also gave some conferences in educational institutions with students, parents and teachers, who showed a genuine interest in the topics making it a very nice experience.

Ecoferia stand in a primary school

Conference with parents in a primary school

Conference with students at San Simon University

Broshure about healthy eating habits

Since I was in the Ecoferia in Cochabamba every Wednesday, I took the time to talk about food hygiene with the associates. These are the people who offer different traditional dishes in order to improve food safety and the plate’s general appearance for their customers. One of them was Beatriz who just spoke quechua, so other associates helped me in translating what I was saying.

Talking about food hygiene (Ecoferia Cochabamba)

Besides offering certain dishes, doña Roberta, also brings sometimes hand made fresh cheese or vegetables that she grows at her home. She is part of a group of women that are organized to work together and help each other, and are called “Juanas Gandarillas”. In order to support them and increase their offer of fresh vegetables, Alberto (who is the Ecoferia project coordinator) developed a scheme for providing them seeds. Then through visiting them periodically, they can receive technical support until the harvest and then keep what they needed for their family; the rest is sold to the Ecoferia. I think this is a very nice idea and I hope it works out and they can keep using this strategy.

Juanas Gandarillas

Roberta at her stand (Ecoferia Cochabamba)

Roberta, Hortensia and me (Ecoferia Cochabamba)

In order to support the Ecoferia project some other marketing activities are being developed. One of them is the implementation of individual orders with home delivery service, where the system works through a product list that is checked by the clients every week. On Wednesday morning, during the Ecoferia, we put together all the orders in fabric bags and then depending on the location, we decided how to deliver them and recollect the bags for the next week afterwards. Another commercial initiative is the Ecoferia point, where in existing stores (conventional or organic), that are interested in supporting this project, a shelf is placed together with information material, an initial inventory with a sales book and afterwards each producer that is affiliated to the Ecoferia is responsible for checking each Ecoferia point and restocking it. So far there are three existing points of sale and they are going to inaugurate two or more before the year end.

Ecoferia point at one store in the city

To conclude I think that this kind of initiatives are inspiring and this enhancement of local production and consumption can help a great deal in favor of national food security and sustainability.

After this experience I can say that I saw things from a different perspective, now instead of talking about product quality for export opportunities and the benefits that this can create, I realized that first come first, meaning that is important to support local markets as a foundation to create food security and sovereignty and for improving local producers capacity in every sense before thinking on an international scope.

Finally I want to thank Agrecol Andres and Agrecol Germany for giving me this opportunity, it was a great experience with so many lessons and I hope that in this short period of time I may have contribute somewhat.

My last day with the group (Ecoferia Cochabamba)

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