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Marta del Rio Villanueva

2018 Fellow

Founder and CEO, Wasi Organics

UN Region: Latin America and the CaribbeanPeru

Passionate about sustainable development and women’s empowerment, Marta founded Wasi Organics, a unique Peruvian snack company based on environmental sustainability. Wasi Organics leverages the country’s culinary excellence, unique biodiversity and produce from small farmers’ associations to develop healthy, organic products at a fair price.

Born in Peru, Marta studied and worked in Europe in the consumer goods, retail and financial services sectors at Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal, Mars, Burger King and American Express, based in London and Madrid. After spending 20 years in the corporate sector, during which she took short sabbaticals to do pro-bono work, Marta began to feel that she could leverage her business skills and experience to promote a social impact.

Passionate about sustainable development and women’s empowerment, Marta founded the social enterprise, Wasi Organics, in 2013 with the belief that social impact, environmental responsibility and economic sustainability are not mutually exclusive. Marta goes to great lengths to find the most rare and special superfoods of the Andes and Amazon rainforest and blends them into delicious lifestyle snacks, integrating small farmers’ associations into the company’s supply chain. Wasi Organics empowers local farmers through the usage of single-origin black corn, nutrient-rich rainforest honey, Andean grains and Amazonian nuts. Their objective is to build a portfolio with a clear focus on “better for you” natural foods and lead the agenda on positive change in the food industry.

Wasi Organics’ first product line was awarded the Innovation Prize in the Expoalimentaria Food Fair in 2015.

Marta graduated in Economics and Business Administration and holds an MBA from INSEAD (France). She has served on the Boards of NeSSt, an international NGO, and IPAE, the leading Peruvian development think tank.

Sustainable Development Goals 1 (no poverty), 3 (good health and well-being) and 5 (gender equality).