Ecuador’s embassy in the Netherlands has planned a series of events this month to help bolster ties between its suppliers and buyers in the UK and Europe.
Juan Carlos Yépez Franco, the former head of commercial at Ecuador’s embassy in the UK, has moved into a similar role in The Hague and will be heading up those sessions and “business matchmaking” as it operates from one of the best hubs in the world for fresh produce.
“I am thrilled to start this new chapter in the Netherlands – a country that is renowned for being a sustainability and technology leader in Europe, not to mention the biggest logistics hub on the European continent,” said Yépez, who spent a decade connecting thousands of suppliers with UK buyers of fresh produce, flowers and other products. “Focusing on sustainability and ethical practices, I will be identifying and developing Dutch import opportunities for Ecuadorian growers and suppliers of products including fresh fruits, seafood, coffee, and cocoa. I’m also excited about searching for the best business practices in the Netherlands to share with Ecuadorian companies, and to invite Dutch companies to invest in Ecuador.”
The events kick off Wednesday in Amsterdam where the Netherlands embassy, Pro Ecuador and Sistema B Ecuador will host 25 selected sustainability leaders from Europe and 15 B Corp-certified companies for networking and learning at the Chamber of Commerce, KVK.
The Ecuador teams say the goal is to address social and environmental causes, how companies and leaders are working to tackle them and what solutions they have that can create “purpose-driven synergies” at scale. The keynote will be “Sustainability in Ecuador” from Sistema B Ecuador.
“We are eager to attract leaders from the B Corp network, as well as any think tanks, incubators, organisations, and NGOs who are involved with sustainability in Europe to meet and share ideas and experiences with our delegation from Ecuador,” Yépez said. “We are inviting any buyers who have an interest in sustainably-grown Ecuadorian produce to take part to strengthen their trading relationships.”
Among the topics being addressed are climate change, poverty through fair trade, living wage, fair working conditions, and gender gap inequalities. Participants include: LatBio (organic banana exporter), Hoja Verde (roses supplier), and a school for growers called Tierra Orgánica.
In addition, Pro Ecuador is hosting Business Matchmaking Ecuador 2023, the country’s largest commercial event of the year on 30-31 May at the Hilton Colon in Guayaquil. More than 350 of the most important Ecuadorian exporters across a variety of trade sectors, including fresh produce (fresh, fresh-cut, frozen and processed fruits), will join 120-plus international buyers from over 30 countries, at the show. There are still opportunities for those from Britain to register.
“We wish to invite buyers from the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and Australia who are interested in sourcing sustainably-grown products from Ecuador, especially bananas, plantain, baby bananas, exotic fruits, and flowers,” Yépez comments. “Pro Ecuador is offering a travel or accommodation package, plus a tailor-made programme for any buyers interested in travelling to the fair. If you want to meet new suppliers or source new products from Ecuador, this is the event for you.”