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Julia Imelda Echavarria Uribe

2019 Fellow

General Manager , Proaji Cia Ltd

Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador

About Imelda:

Imelda is the General Manager of Proaji Cia Ltd. and Pizca Foods SAC, a business that grows and processes different types of exotic hot peppers. They contract production with medium and small farmers in Ecuador and Peru, process the peppers and export them to companies around the world as either a liquid or dehydrated final product to be used as an ingredient in the food industry. Using about ten types of hot peppers, Proaji Cia and Pizca Foods produce three different lines of liquid condiments and five lines of dehydrated pepper products. As their peppers are mostly grown with small farmers, Proaji Cia and Pizca Foods focus on making a positive social and economic impact in the communities they work in. The company purchases the peppers at a fair contract based price and provide farmers with an opportunity for personal growth through their training system and visits, which they call “The Hot Pepper School” of Ecuador and Peru. In addition, they have established a research and development center based on one of their farms to better educate their farmers and improve cultivation processes. Imelda’s areas of expertise are in science, business management and human resources. She has a Bachelor’s in Biology with a concentration in Marine Science from Tufts University and a Masters of Science in Aquaculture from Kagoshima University.

What Imelda hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:

Imelda would like to improve her knowledge of business management, especially in marketing, finance and human resources. Additionally, besides learning more specifics about running a business, Imelda is looking forward to learning from other fellow’s experiences in different businesses and regions.

What Imelda can offer other fellows:

Imelda can share her over 24 years of hands-on professional experience in decision-making at all levels.

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