Authentic Ecuadorian ingredients improve farmers’ quality of life
For Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 2023, we celebrate small entrepreneurs from all over the world. Small businesses account for 90% of the world's businesses, 60 to 70% of employment, and 50% of the global economy. They contribute to local and national economies and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We have interviewed María Isabel Gonzalez, General Manager of Agroapoyo, an Ecuadorian processor and exporter of plantain products.
Tell us about your company.
My name is María Isabel Gonzalez, I am the operations and sustainability manager of Agroapoyo, an Ecuadorian processor and exporter of plantain products. Agroapoyo is a company that strives to add value to Ecuadorian agricultural products and trade them internationally. We are proud of Ecuador and its wide variety of ingredients which we transform, through dehydration and frying, into products to satisfy consumers. The ingredients we select for our organic and conventional food lines are Ecuadorian fruits and vegetables. Agropoyo has 3,050 hectares under cultivation, with 4,000 beneficiary families, producing 12,000 tonnes.
What is your greatest success?
Farmers require support and guidance to improve their production along the plantain value chain. Our greatest achievement has been the improvement of our farmers’ quality of life resulting from productivity and quality enhancements. Agroapoyo has successfully transferred best practices to the field, adding value to farmers’ produce and strengthening the value chain.
Our vision as a company is to collaborate with all sectors – public and private – as well as with the international agencies. This way we can align efforts towards the same objective, which is to improve our people’s quality of life, prevent migration from the countryside to the city, reduce poverty and build a better country.
We are also proud to that Agroapoyo is committed to people, aiming to connect Ecuador to the world. We contribute to environmental preservation through a regenerative agriculture programme, whereby we support producers converting to organic farming. This remains part of our corporate DNA.
What message do you have for other entrepreneurs?
I would like to send a message to new entrepreneurs not to get discouraged regardless of the difficulties and challenges that arise in our country, because at the same time, our country is full of opportunities, with a rich and diverse ecosystem that offers great potential to all of us.