The UEB Staff of the PECOLO Project met for breakfast with key non-academic partners on Tuesday 10th of April 2018 at the VIP restaurant located at the Fundadores building. Kenneth Ochoa V., Colombian coordinator of the Project, presented generalities, key aspects, and the impact of the Project, after all participants introduced themselves and expressed their initial expectations. Next, the participants asked questions about their role in the project, and the UEB Staff answered all their questions, placing emphasis in both the impact of the potential collaboration projects and the benefit of using the Future Studies and Foresight Methodology in the strategic planning processes of their own organizations. At the end of the meeting, participants from: Secretaría Distrital de Ambiente (SDA), Bio Plaza, Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF), Asociación Colombiana de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos (ACTA), and Academia de Innovación para la Sostenibilidad (AISO) expressed their support to the PECOLO Project and their committed participation in the Project workshops.
The Coordinator of the PECOLO project at UNALM, Peru, Dr. Ritva Repo-Carrasco received the Order of the Lion on March 19 at the Embassy of Finland for the scientific achievements and contributions to the development of scientific collaboration between Finland and Peru. The Order of the Lion is conferred upon citizens who have distinguished themselves in the service of Finland (although foreign nationals may also be awarded decorations of the Orders). Ritva is a professor in food chemistry at UNALM and an author of a large number of scientific publications focusing especially on quinoa.
We are proud to continue the collaboration with her on the Andean native crops and take forward the cooperation between Finland, Peru, and now also with Colombia!
The news web site of Universidad Nacional Agraria la Molina, Gaceta Molinera, published an article about the opening ceremony of the project and about the first activities. The Ambassador of Finland to Peru, Mr. Mika Koskinen, attended the ceremony, as did the Rector of UNALM, PhD. Enrique Florez.
The first futures workshops had participants from a wide range of organizations working in food and agriculture sector in Peru, such as National Institute of Agrarian Innovations, Ministry of Agriculture, CONCYTEC (National Council of Science, technology and technological Innovation), as well as private sector companies.
The full article can be read here (only in Spanish): http://www.lamolina.edu.pe/Gaceta/edicion2017/notas/nota314.htm
At the end of August we had the PECOLO project’s kick-off week in Finland with the project partners from Peru and Colombia. During the week we had, in addition to project planning in Helsinki and Turku, time to visit some companies and take our guests to a Finnish sauna and swimming in the Baltic sea.
We ended the week with a kick-off dinner attended by the Embassies of Peru and Colombia in Finland, and by the ambassador of Finland to Peru as well as the Charge d’affaires of Finland in Colombia.
One of the company visits we made was to a Finnish quinoa farm! It is located in Lieto, outsido of the city of Turku, and is the only large scale quinoa farm in Finland with about 100 ha of quinoa.
According to our Andean guests the quinoa grown in Finland has smaller grains than the Andean varieties and it remained unclear what the variety was called and where it originated from. It was however interesting to see another Andean crop having found Finland! Potato, which us Finns is a find very typical Finnish food crop and quite central in our diet, is of course an Andean crop too, but after some 300 years of cultivating it in Finland we just don’t think about it as an exported crop anymore, whereas quinoa has found Finland and Europe just during the past years and has recently become a popular grain due to its nutritional values. Quinoa is an excellent example of a “new” Andean crop that has found its way to the European plates and different types of food innovations based on quinoa can now be found at least in larger super markets with health products as well as in health food stores.