We are passionate about food and growing it sustainably with small scale producers. We emphasize growing vanilla in a natural setting to promote natural infusions of the aromas of the amazon. We join communities of international experience, with the traditions and cultures of indigenous herbs, spices and medicinal products. We think a lot, but care about a lot more. The Amazon is an irreplaceable treasure. Join us, as we connect with producers and assist them to invest and grow. We include anyone we can to give jobs and enrich us back with diversity. We grow our shareholders among those who care for the plants of the earth and produce with pride.
Loren lived in Eastern Europe, Africa and South America developing and managing agricultural projects linking small scale farmers to finance and markets for over 30 years for non-profit organizations. He met small scale farmers in Ecuador, saw the ecological destruction in the rainforest, and immediately they began talking about a business venture that provided an alternative and sustainable livelihood. Loren believes that businesses have potential to be powerful energy for social and ecological impact, so he consulted with friends, and not only did they encourage this venture, but joined it! Loren states: “together we took the risk, trusted in each other and trusted our producers as partners so that we all grow interdependent. Vanilla is a fun job; “we enjoy meetings and trying out and sharing recipes with each other and everything just smells great!”. He grew up on a family livestock farm, giving free labor for agricultural experience.
Patricio Santi Anchundia is President of the Amazonia Vanilla Company
Indigenous Kichwa from the Ecuadorian Amazon. Patricio has a Master’s in Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples, he has worked for 20 years with social organizations in Ecuador, and is passionate about defending and respecting the human rights of indigenous peoples.
In his work with the Amazonia Vanilla Company Patricio looks to i) Encourage clean and agroecological production of vanilla in the territories of indigenous peoples; ii) The purchase and sale of vanilla at a fair price, in order to reactivate the community economy and improve the living conditions of indigenous families; and, iii) Promote the care of nature and natural resources.
Patricio is also excited about this initiative because it is characterized by preserving and reproducing relationships of reciprocity and complementarity, daily practices of equitable redistribution, which are sustained in a population with high levels of identity and social cohesion, with language, spirituality and particular worldviews, which have ancestral knowledge, and technologies applied to production, all of this have allowed them to subsist despite the situation of oppression and secular exploitation experienced for several centuries.
Francisco Xavier Guevara is an upcoming culinary expert committed to elevating the culinary heritage of the peoples of Ecuador. He demonstrates Ecuador’s rich cultural values, history, knowledge and inherited knowledge through its cuisine. He also aims to generate socio-economic change through the gastronomic value chain.
He is the coordinator of the Masters program in Gastronomy of Ecuador at the Universidad Tecnica del Norte (Ibarra, Ecuador) and professor of gastronomy. His focus has been on the gastronomic heritage of Ecuador, cuisine of the Ecuadorian highlands, cuisine of the Ecuadorian coast, and cuisine of the Ecuadorian amazon as well as European and North American cuisine. He worked in a gastronomic tourist agency organizing gastronomic tours in Ecuador, after obtaining a Master’s degree at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He served as chef in restaurants in Quito, Ecuador and Minneapolis, USA, however we all definitely envy his stint as chef on the Galapagos Islands.
Caleb Longenecker-Fox is currently based in Quito as an Intercultural Academic Program Director with Goshen College. He is highly collaborative, solutions focused and deeply relational, with leadership skills that encourage and inspire teams to achieve their full potential, especially in the context of shared projects. In contribution beyond his current work, Caleb volunteers with the Amazon Vanilla initiative and strongly supports the mission of fair trade and indigenous people’s movements. Caleb’s passionate about equipping and supporting local empowerment of the global south through effective, sustainable and equitable business entrepreneurship and innovation.