Analyzing the triple impact of the ambitious Permatree Superfoods venture in the Amazon for the export of plant based superfoods

Our goal with Permatree Superfoods is to transform the productive territory in a regenerative way, generating social, environmental and economic impact with positive results. 2,000 direct beneficiaries and 50,000 indirect beneficiaries. 300% more direct income for our 400 small family farmers. Our motivation is to fight poverty with business means, capitalizing on the benefits and opportunities of a globalized world.

The role of companies has changed a lot in recent times and more since Covid-19. It is known that the responsibility to be profitable and seek benefits solely for the owners and partners is no longer enough. On a global scale, it has become increasingly clear that the companies of today and tomorrow must have a triple impact: society, the economy and the environment.

Why is the triple impact relevant?

It is relevant when it comes to the positive results a company has for people and the planet.

The term “impact” is used as an investment criterion, as an investment policy and as a consequence of it. We have to consider the impact of our decisions on our employees, customers, suppliers, society and the environment. We are aware that everything is interconnected.

We speak of “triple impact” because the results have to do with:

  1. Social impact
  2. Economic impact
  3. Environmental impact

Focused on building comprehensive corporate sustainability so that PermaTree SuperFoods is resilient, sustainable and generates a real positive impact on society and the environment. The triple baseline allows setting not only economic but also environmental and social objectives to achieve ideal business performance.

Triple-impact of Permatree Superfoods

  1. SOCIAL-Impact
    1. 400 small farming families
    2. 2000 direct beneficiaries
    3. 50’000 indirect beneficiaries
    4. 75% of women operating
    5. 10% job offer for young people
    6. Education / Training
    7. Interaction-space / Exhibition space
      1. Local entrepreneurs
      2. Agricultural producers
      3. International clients
      4. Communities
      5. Experience tourism
      6. Art and culture
      7. Education
  2. Environmental-Impact
    1. 80’000 bamboo plants for reforestation on 400 family farms will absorb 5.586 t of CO2 annually
    2. 800 conservation of critical freshwater micro-basins
    3. 400 flora and fauna conservation areas for mega biodiversity
    4. 400 anaerobic bio-digesters to activate microorganisms in the soil
    5. 400 dry toilets
    6. Sustainable agriculture focused on polycultures with unique-origin micro-lot
  3. Economic-Impact
    1. 300% more direct income for small families that work the land with sustainable and regenerative agriculture
    2. Direct sources of work
    3. Youth Employment
    4. Foreign exchange earnings
    5. Dynamization of the local economy
    6. Added value of raw materials in productive territory
    7. International market opening

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Permatree Superfoods, works towards these UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Image: Permatree Superfoods, works towards these UN Sustainable Development Goals

Permatree Superfoods Presentation

Our operation of regeneration within the production territory with Permatree Superfoods is advancing despite the global challenging situation with COVID19 and the global warming… The last PTSF blog update was in back March 2020 and now its all-ready 13th of July 2020, time flies. As of today we have created our presentation material where you can get a much better understanding of what, why and of course how we are going to do it.

Just in case you have forgotten what PTSF is about. Our mission is to create added value superfoods from: dehydrated seda banana and orito banana, turmeric powder, coffee, raw-chocolate, soursop and guayusa leaf teas. 

Because we are working this on a holistic level it seems slightly more complex at the beginning to understand how we are enhancing the entire horizontal value chain. From the seeds to the transformed added value – superfoods.

In case you want to stay up-to-date on a daily basis you can follow our twitter or instagram too.

Plant Construction Status

In the meantime the construction of the transformation plant for tropical fruits, seeds and vegetables is also well visible from the bird view as you can see yourself. The area itself is not greater than 0.66 hectare in size. But the location is perfect on the main nacional road *Troncal Amazonico E45* connecting us to Loja or Cuenca and from there to Guayaquil or Quito. This drone footage was taken about 1 month ago. Our construction team has been working now since 27 days and its challenging of course with the tropical climate but the transformation is well visible. We are on schedule. Currently we are working 22 day shifts.

Business opportunities – Trade Shows

Due to the COVID19 situation all the existing trade shows have been canceled and some have been reactivated virtually. We have been able to all-ready present the PERMATREE SUPERFOODS innovation at the ECUADOR FOOD FAIR – I Virtual Edition 2020. The first Interactive Food Fair of Ecuador organized by ProEcuador and Fedexpor. Tomorrow the 14 of July we will be present at the #ExpoVirtualAlemania organized by all the latam German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) – which are promoting international trade.

The Presentation

Now the information has been prepared for you in various media channels. According to the latest research video content engages most. So below you will find a striped down video version of about 2 minutes for all of you who have no time to waste and are in a hurry.


2 min video duration

YouTube – Permatree Superfoods Presentation (2 min)

Now personally Im not really a big fan of videos … because most of the youtube-videos now a days are just way to long and not really relevant information. So I prefer a slideshow. Below is our 33 page slideshow in English language. There is also a powerpoint-version but with 45MB it’s just way too heavy in data size.


6 min text read

SlideShare slideshow of Permatree Superfoods (33 pages)

And well for those few who do like to read articles here comes the content as classic article with text and lots of images with more text :-).


Holistic + Regenerative + Transparent

PERMATREE SUPERFOODS = Holistic + Regenerative + Transparent
website: | Email and Tel only visible in the image


While the planet earth and our bodies fall victim to destruction, we find hope and solutions in regeneration. Through our holistic business model that values the interconnectedness of all things, and with more than just organic farming methods, we envision a better and brighter future for all living things. It starts here in the Amazon, with a gift from the planet itself – nature’s Superfoods.


The Superfoods: Dehydrated bananas, Ginger, Turmeric, Soursop-Tea, Guayusa-Tea, Raw-chocolate and Coffee
The Superfoods: Dehydrated bananas, Ginger, Turmeric, Soursop-Tea, Guayusa-Tea, Raw-chocolate and Coffee

We have chosen to start with superfoods which we have been consuming ourselves that are rich in nutrients and enhance our health. Also of which we know that they grow well in our mostly extreme tropical humid micro-climate at the edge of the amazon basin in Ecuador.



SUPERFOODS TO THE RESCUE - Its Time to Fix A Very Broken System

Its Time to Fix A Very Broken System


  • Holistic – We care for everything and everyone along the entire production process.
  • Ethical – We make conscientious choices in all we do.
  • Altruistic – Creating a better quality life for everyone is part of our business model.
  • Regenerative – Beyond sustainable, we’re healing and transforming territories.
  • Transparent – 100% trust because we’re super proud of everything we’re doing.

Three Guys With a Vision, and On a Mission.

PermaTree SuperFoods is a independent startup, based in the Amazon basin of  Ecuador, founded by three visionary entrepreneurs sick and tired of the outdated agriculture-to-market system that oppresses the family farmer and lies to the consumers. We think everyone deserves better – those who are producing food, those who are eating it, as well as the many creatures and lands  that are silently affected in the process of exploitive, conventional systems.

We want to be the most conscientious, ethical, and empowering company to cultivate nutritious, health enhancing, Superfoods from the Amazon through transparent processes and regenerative agriculture. We want our holistic business model to be the force behind territorial transformation that creates thriving social, economic, and environmental situations for all. We believe we can reverse the damage, enhance the soil with flora and fauna
to bring back a natural equilibrium, and cultivate a brighter future.

Meet The Guys

Permatree Superfood’s Founders


Walter Villacis, CEO
Experience in socio-organizational federations small producers and public / private companies in Ecuador. Focused on the standard- ization of value-added processes with organic certification, commercialization and export.
Linkedin : Walter Villacis

Jago Jan Veith, COO
Experience in SMB, Fortune 500 and mHealth startup. Focusing on innovation in e-commerce, marketing and communication. Passion: regenerative disruption by applying innovation processes to create a better world in the future.
Linkedin : Jago Jan Veith

Danny Carrillo, DPR
Experience in entrepreneurship and family businesses in the agriculture industry and public companies / private SMEs in Ecuador. Focused on coordination between ministries, organizations and producers related to productive value-added systems in the territory.
Linkedin : Danny Carrillo

Our Company Timeline

Our Company Timeline
PERMATREE SUPERFOODS S.A., was created on November 6, 2019, as recorded in the commercial register of the Canton Yantzaza in Ecuador under registration number 45, repertoire 1544 of the Companies register.


Birdview of PermaTree Superfoods and the Finca Yantza

Our Interconnected System

Everything Within The Territory


We grow our own raw ingredients on our farm, as well as work with 400+ family farmers who use our systematic regenerative farming model. This allows us to know exactly what we are producing from it’s very start and to empower other locals to better their farming methods,territory, lifestyle, and economy


Because we handle every step of the process on site, we harvest at the idea moment as we don’t have to worry about lenghty transport and storage logistics. This allows us to use higher quality ingredients at their freshest point and have direct insight to how our crops and orchards are doing


We own and operate our own processing plant on site where we use processes that maintain the purity and nutrition of our raw ingredients so we can provide  REAL Superfoods that maintain their health benefits – something our competitors are not doing.


We pack on site too. We use minimal packaging that preserves the integrity and freshness of our products. All products are marked with a QR code that when scanned, link to videos related to each specific product providing more detailed information.


Directly from the same location, we ship out our products nationally and export internationally. From start to finish, we handle the entire production process of our Superfoods.

The highest quality Superfoods from the Amazon; grown in micro-lots, from a unique single origen, minimally processed, packaged to preserve freshness, and shipped directly to you.

Behind The Scenes of our Raw Cacao Chocolate

Behind The Scenesof our Raw Cacao Chocolate

Transformation of Territory & Healthier Living For All

We integrate regenerative ideas into everything we do,
from the seeds we grow to the cells in your body.

Our farming and production process is regenerating healthy environments, economies, and communities.

  • Regenerative and organic farming methods create healthy ecosystems allowing biodiversity to thrive.
  • Keeping the entire production process on-site, creates more jobs and new business opportunities for locals.
  • Organic farming jobs allows locals to choose a healthier industry to support – versus the common destructive mining industry.
  • More family farms means more families can stay together, creating a healthier lifestyle.

We produce superfoods that are delicious and nutritious that support the regeneration of cells in your body.

  • Our farming methods are 100% clean and natural, without the use of agrochemicals, zero pesticides, zero herbicides and zero chemical fertilizers
  • We don’t add sugar nor ANY preservatives during our food  processing, which means nothing harmful for your body.
  • We use processing methods that preserve the nutrition of these Superfoods so that your can enjoy the full health benefit of each one.


Strategic Goals

Our five strategic objectives and development strategies in the region are:

Transform territory to enhance environment, economy, and society. To work across the value chain in a transparent way with direct and indirect actors. Focus on the beneficial properties of health and well-being.

Develop the production of raw material in collaboration with 400 family farmers with a focus on micro-lots of single origin from the southern territories of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Rescue and restore the local multicultural identity, focusing on gastronomy, history, culture and ancient medicine.

To go beyond just organic with our vertically intergrated, interconnected, and holistic system, and regenerative agriculture model. No agrochemicals: zero pesticides, zero herbicides and zero chemical fertilizers.

Total transparency to build trust with skeptical consumers. Communicate clearly and precisely to educate, inform, and inspire consumers and buyers.

5 Hemispheric Programs

  1. Bioeconomy and Productive Development.
  2. Territorial Development and Family Farming.
  3. International Trade and Regional Integration.
  4. Climate Change, Natural Resources, and Productive Risk Management.
  5. Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality.
  • Gender and Youth
  • Innovation and Technology

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals
Our business model satisfies all 17 United Nation’s SDGs.
Take a moment to enjoy our view...
Take a moment to enjoy our view…

Principles of Administrative Management

We operate with well organized, professional administration and management.
We operate with well organized, professional administration and management.

Organizational Flowchart

Organizational Flowchart
Organizational Flowchart

Legal Permits and Accreditation

Legal Permits and Accreditation
Legal Permits and Accreditation

Certifications and Quality Seals

Certifications and Quality Seals
Certifications and Quality Seals

Monthly Production Capacity

Monthly Production Capacity
Monthly Production Capacity

Our Unique Products SUPERFOODS Straight From The Amazon

BANANITOS - Dehydrated banana slice, dice
BANANITOS – Dehydrated banana slice, dice


Amazing Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory Powder



Dynamic DNA Damage Prevention Powder


Soursop Tea

Soursop Tea (Annona muricata)
Soursop Tea (Annona muricata)
From The Amazon Straight to Your Cup
From The Amazon Straight to Your Cup

Guayusa Tea

Guayusa Tea - contain L-theanine, theobromine and caffeine
Guayusa Tea – contains L-theanine, theobromine and caffeine

Raw Chocolate

Raw Chocolate (Theobroma cacao)
Raw Chocolate (Theobroma cacao)


Coffee – Mood & Brain Boosting

DIY Guacamole Recipe


Learn how easy it is to make homemade guacamole. Its no rocket science.


  • 2-4 Avocados
  • Lemon to taste
  • A red onion
  • Salt to taste

Preparation and ingredients for the guacamole

  1. Chop the onion into small squares
  2. We take the pulp out of the four avocados and crush it until it’s even
  3. Add the onion and mix it well
  4. Add the lemon gradually and we try it, I put about 30 ml of lemon juice.
  5. Add salt to taste

DIY Mayonnaise Recipe


Lear how to make homemade mayonnaise 

Super simple few Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • Red onion
  • Kitchen Oil (a lot) possible alternative to oil would be raw avocado or cooked potatoes (!) Much healthier option. IMO
Final product : mayonnaise

Preparation and ingredients for the mayonnaise

Egg + Onion + Garlic + Salt = mayonnaise
Egg + Onion + Garlic + Salt = mayonnaise
  1. First, we peel and chop the garlic a little bit, not very small because it’s going to be liquefied
  2. We chop half a red onion; it may be less if you don’t want the taste to be very strong
  3. Put the egg in the blender, add a quarter of a small spoon of salt, garlic and onion
  4. We liquefied for a minute or until we don’t see pieces of any ingredient
  5. As we liquefaction we gradually add the oil. The amount of oil depends on how thick you want the mayonnaise; the more oil will make you thicker

Notes on Mayonnaise

It is important that the blender is well dried so that the mayonnaise won’t be damaged.

Slowly add the oil to reach the desired thickness to the mayonnaise

Tipikas Coffeeshop Zamora PermaTree in Ecuador

Tipikas Coffee shop in Zamora

The PermaTree family is growing. As true holistic organization we focus on the entire transparent value chain. From the farm to the shop where the added value products can be purchased. This is why we are now collaboration with Tipikas Coffee Shop in the capital of Zamora-Chinchipe. This is literally brand new.

This will be the store front for all PermaTree added value products. Such as Soursop-Tea, Soursop-ice-cream and Soursop-pulp. Also Guayusa-Tea and Raw-Chocolate. Naturally all from our Finca Yantza. More than just organic. Using no agrochemicals: zero pesticides, zero herbicides and zero chemical fertilizers.

So far Danny Carillo and Walter Villacis which are highly experienced in the field of organic coffee: From processing in the field, harvesting, selecting, drying, milling, roasting the to final coffee cup. Both are experts in coffee international brewing methods.

Did you know that the way a coffee is picked, processed, dried and stored has a huge impact on the longevity of the green coffee based, measured by the degradation of the flavor of a coffee over time? The best-case scenario is that coffee is used within two-to-four weeks from roasting for peak flavor. Coffee should be stored in a cool, dry space and away from direct sunlight. Once opened, it’s best to use the coffee within a two-week period for highest quality coffee results.

Photo: Fresh espresso coffee
International Brewing methods

Available coffee in serving with many international Brewing methods: French press (France), Moka (Italy), Espresso (Italy), Chemex (USA) and Hario V60 (Brazil)

Opening hours Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m

Location: Hernando de Benavente y Av. Paquisha. In front of the House of Culture of Zamora near the Zamora River and the Malecon. Zamora-Chinchipe. Ecuador

Sitting in the outside patio and drinking a espresso with some zamorian friends.

We have been lucky with the location. Its not as loud as in other places. We have the House of Culture in front of the Coffeeshop which is ideal.

The coffee shop is well visible from the road.

Rice harvesting

Have you ever wondered how rice is made respectively harvested? Read more to learn about this process and our learning.

This was the first rice harvesting at the farm – entire Thursday 20 September 2018. As you can see the harvest was done manually and believe me when I say it was hard work. We where six people doing the work…

rice field seen from above

The rice field was not huge in size but in effective work it was. You can see we managed to plant the rice in lines. This made the harvest easier than planting it randomly. On the left side you can see the Ginger and Turmeric bordering the rice.

First step was to cut the rice halms. The rice is cut halm by halm with a rounded type of knife with sharp-edged mussel.

rice harvesting tools

This is the tool we used to cut the rice.

harvesting rice manually

So this process took a few hours and as usual before and after midday the sun and the tropical heat are even stronger so we where sweating like in a Finnish sauna. But it got more extreme in the next step.

Next step was to build a tent like structure with transparent plastic. As you can see in the picture surrounding the rice and the tent is the soursop plantation.

Next step was to get the rice stem out of the rice halm by hitting it on the floor in a plastic tent so we would not loose any rice stems…

Video Manual Rice Harvesting at PermaTree in Ecuador

This was the output. Mostly rice stems but not only. Lots of parts of the rice halm too.

Next step was to create a filter to exclude everything but the rice stems. We made it manually like seen in the picture.


Rice we harvested

Final step to get the white rice was to send the harvested 50kg rice to a machine which separates the grains of rice halm from the rice halm husks. Such a machine is called a rice huller and is used to automate the process of removing the chaff (the outer husks) of grains of rice. Throughout history, there have been numerous techniques to hull rice. Traditionally, it would be pounded using some form of mortar and pestle. So after waiting for 8 weeks, there was not enough rice to be processed, we got our 50kg grain rice bag which was then only 25kg heavy without all the husks / chaff. Looks pretty impressive now that simple rice dosent it?


Nutrients in Rice

White rice is about 90% carbohydrate, 8 percent protein and 2 percent fat. White rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, folic acid, thiamine and niacin. It is low in fiber and its fat content is primarily omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered pro-inflammatory.


Rice consumption in Ecuador

Does it seem as if Ecuadorians eat a lot of rice? Relatively speaking, compared to North Americans. However Ecuador’s consumption pales in comparison to Asia. Rice is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia – where they eat about 100 kg per capita annually, on average per person! Ecuadorians consume about 30 kg per year, or about 1.3 cups of cooked rice daily. The coastal region West of the Andean range – Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí, El Oro, Santa Elena is where most of Ecuador’s rice crop is grown.

Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse, varying with the altitude and associated agricultural conditions. Most regions in Ecuador follow the traditional three course meal of soup, a course that includes rice and a protein, and then dessert and coffee to finish.

History of Rice in Ecuador

Rice cultivation began in Asia and then Africa about 14,000 years ago. Rice was introduced to Latin America and the Caribbean by European colonizers in the early 1500s. Spanish colonizers are thought to have introduced Asian rice to Mexico in the 1520s at Veracruz. The Portuguese and their African slaves introduced it at about the same time to Colonial Brazil. Today, rice is the third-highest agricultural commodity grown globally. In Ecuador before the Spanish colonizers introduced the rice, the people where used to eat a rice like food, with 6,000 years of history, called Quinoa. After the conquest,Quinoa was largely replaced by European staples, such as wheat, rye and rice, though quinoa cultivation continued in rural areas. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, and in Peru the production of this once nearly forgotten crop increased 350% from 1980 to 2000. Quinoa is often called a superfood for its remarkable nutrient properties, including all 9 amino acids essential for proper nutrition. Of these, lysine and tryptophan—which are often lacking in plant proteins—are abundant in quinoa, making it a good protein substitution for meat.

So because Quinoa is now so popular and demand rises, so do prices. And as prices rise, Ecuadorians, Peruvians and Bolivians are no longer to afford what was once a staple food that provided important nutrients often lacking in rural Andean communities. Quinoa was quickly replaced with Rice.

Disruption of the food system

Today the greatest minds are busy with disruption of banking system, automobile industry, space rockets, energy sector etc. But only a few seem to focus on our food system or “food value chain”

Organic Farming VS Conventional Farming?

People tend to forget that organic farming is actually the traditional way of farming. Industrial or conventional farming became the new norm for industrialized countries after the ‘green-revolution‘ of the 1950s and 60s. This period saw the development of new seed varieties, and mass use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation to produce higher yields. The big difference between organic and industrialized farming is that industrialized farming relies on chemical inputs and a highly mechanized approach, whereas organics is about farming holistically, recognizing that we are part of a broader ecosystem. Although, it is important to note that some large-sale organic farms still use industrialized approaches such as mono-crops and some industrialized farms also adhere to organic principles, using limited amounts of chemical inputs.

This blog post is about the food before its gets mixed-up and sold as added value product like a Starbucks chocolate chip oh sorry … the FDA won’t let Starbucks use the term ‘chocolate chip’. Its called a Starbucks “chocolaty” chip. Starbucks’ chips’ percentage of actual cocoa bean is too low to qualify as a true chocolate chip. That makes the little nibs perfect for melting, but less ideal in the dictionary definition of the term. (Starbucks chocolate chips). So always keep in mind the premium you pay for so called added value brand products actually have LESS chocolate less high quality ingredients inside that “premium” product. It makes totally sense from a classic economic point of view. Try to sell the lowest quality with the maximum of high end marketing to a even higher premium price. And does it work? Well currently this is the way most business work. Consumers are happy living the marketing-lie ;-). Is it bad or morally okay? Well its absolutely legal. Most fortune 500 companies do it. It seems that consumers are not aware of it or they simply don’t care about this little detail. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Try to investigate what quality of chocolate it being used for most chocolate bars… Try to see how and where the cacao is grown, fumigated, harvested, dried, fermented how much a cacao farmer makes selling the cacao beans. And how much the brand or the retailer makes selling the chocolate.

Riots and protests over food prices have broken out in 30 countries since 2007 (The Great Disruption).

The so called Fair Trade products are not really fair its more of a brilliant marketing stunt for the end consumer. Example: Reasons Fair-Trade Coffee Doesn’t Work.

Fairtrade is not transparent!

The Fair Trade Scandal, states, “Fair Trade is but the most recent example of another sophisticated ‘scam’ by the ‘invisible hand’ of the free market. This noble endeavor for the salvation of the free market was tamed and domesticated by the very forces it wanted to fight. With its usual efficiency, the free market triggered the implosion of the Fair Trade universe and hijacked its mission, without Fair Trade supporters and stakeholders even realizing it.”

Despite the implications of its name, “Fairtrade” prices do not necessarily cover any of the basic costs of life—like housing, food, or education—for growers. Fair Trade labels don’t list the amount paid to farmers; that sum requires research… The amount can vary depending on the commodity. An analysis using information from TransFair shows that cocoa farmers get 3 cents of the $3.49 spent on a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar labeled “organic fair trade” sold at Target in the UK (!) Farmers receive 24 cents for a one-pound (0.5kg) bag of fair trade sugar sold at Whole Foods for $3.79.

One sack (138 pounds) earns a Ghanaian farmer about $106, but can flavor more than 100 pounds of candy. Put another way: Ghanaian cocoa farmers are getting about 77 cents per pound, where a high-end maker selling 2-ounce chocolate bars for $9 apiece earns $72 per pound. Even your basic $2 bar brings in $16 per pound, about 20 times what the farmer gets. According to the Fairtrade Foundation, cocoa growers in West Africa earn, on average, about 6 percent of the final cost of a chocolate bar. (source YesMagazine)

example: Ecuadorian traffic light food label

Labeling: Product cost breakdown overview

In a ideal world every product should have a transparent label indicating not only the nutritional level like in Ecuador (Food Labeling in Ecuador) but also the product price value breakdown.

A transparent overview of the product cost breakdown: Production (farmer), packaging, Taxes, Marketing, Permits, Transportation, Listing, middlemen, retailer and commission costs E-commerce, carbon footprint, CO2, etc.

So fairtrade may be a better option but is still far away from FAIR. If you look at who creates the value eg food and who makes more value eg money it is never the farmer but always some middleman or the retailer… Why is this so important and what does that mean. Well at the end of the day it means that there is little $ motivation for the farmer to really care for the crops for them to be healthy. The motivation is to produce maximum quantity to make a little more money. So why should you care? Well 🙂 YOU will be most likely buying from some retailer food … and if you keep in mind that the price does not reflect the quality nor does fair trade or organic certifications…

T-shirt, craft beer, sneaker and chocolate bar price breakdown overview

Beer cost-to-make-adidas-yeezys Real cost of a chocolate bar

The current system is broken

Ideally would be to buy your food directly from the farmer but that highly unlikely going to happen today. BUT it would be the most logical thing. The farmer would sell at a better price for him and still be less expensive than the retailer in many cases. The quality would be much better knowing exactly where your food was grown. Nowadays we are far away from this.

“Often fair trade is sold at a premium, but the entire premium goes to the middlemen.” Farmers stay poor. End clients have no idea about product quality and social impact.

What about Organic/Natural/Free-Range/nonGMO and other Food Label  certifications?

The world of organic labelling is probably one of the most complicated ones. What does it actually mean? Biological or organic farmed products (fruit, vegetable, cereal or animal products, etc) are made without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms, and probably some other unnatural practices. The animals producing meat, eggs or milk are not given any antibiotics or growth hormones.

Organic is not always equally sustainable.

Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming in general features practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

Selling food with an organic label is regulated by governmental food safety authorities, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or European Commission (EC).

The USDA states that the goal of organic foods and organic farming is to “integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” Certification costs vary depending on the size of your production operation and on the accredited agency you choose to use. In general, organic certification costs run between $200 – $1500. Your costs will include an application fee, site inspection fee, and an annual certification fee.

Organic/Bio Labels

To be able to use the word organic on a food label in Canada or the U.S., the product must have at least 70 percent organic ingredients and be free of GMOs and the worst of the food additives. A Certified Organic product contains at least 95% organic ingredients, and has an official USDA or Canada Organic/ Biologique label. These products are grown without chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, sewage sludge, or GMOs. Animals raised organically have access to pasture, eat organic feed that contains no antibiotics, and do not receive synthetic growth hormones. Organic products cannot be irradiated or have synthetic additives. The USDA Organic label can also be used on personal care products that meet the organic food standard for their products, meaning they are not only organic but made of edible ingredients. Canada does not have a similar option. Canada’s organic label has come under criticism recently because, unlike in the United States, Canada does not require field tests and it outsources certification in countries such as China that have questionable environmental standards. Nonetheless, the Certified Organic label for food is still the best assurance of quality.

Organic taste

Obviously, whether organic foods taste better is a matter of, well, taste. Many people swear by the difference in organic eggs, dairy, meats, and some produce. Others say that when blindfolded, those same people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between organic and conventional. There’s incredibly little data on this topic, so we’ll have to leave it up to you and your palate to decide. Price: At most supermarkets, organic goods come at a premium price. Part of it is a matter of supply and demand, and part of it is that organic produce, meat, and dairy often require more money to grow than conventional goods.

For many, eating organic is a luxury they can’t afford. For others, it’s a matter of taste and quality.

Organic yes or no?

If the reason you’ve been buying organic is because you believe they’re “better for you” nutritionally, then there’s no reason to continue according to current studies from the food industry…

However, if you’ve been buying them because they’re “better for you” in terms of chemical pesticides or growth hormones or antibiotics, you’ll definitely be getting food with lower levels (!) makes sense right. Also if the critical concern for you is environmental sustainability, or putting your money where your agricultural mouth is, then you have a compelling reason to keep buying organic.

nonGMO or GMO-Free Labels

GMOs — or genetically modified organisms — aka GM or GE (genetically engineered) refer to plants or animals created through the changing or merging of a species’ DNA. Canada allows GM varieties of corn, soy, sugar beets, canola, apples, and salmon. It’s the fourth largest producer of GM crops, well behind the U.S. and Brazil. We also import GM cottonseed oil, papaya, and squash. rGBH tainted milk products come from the U.S. in processed foods that contain milk solids or powders such as frozen desserts or mixed drinks with dairy. In the 20 years since GM ingredients were first introduced into Canada, these foods have made their way into most of the processed foods available in Canada. Unless you buy foods labelled organic or NON-GMO, you are almost certainly getting them in packaged foods that contain corn, canola, soy, or sugar. Unless the GMO-free claim is backed up with the NON-GMO Project label or, even better, one of the Certified Organic labels mentioned above, it’s a meaningless claim. It should be noted that the NON-GMO label does not mean that a product is organic. Indeed, having a NON-GMO label on something like strawberries is meaningless as strawberries are not currently being genetically modified anywhere, yet they are a pesticide-intensive crop. You are far better-off spending the money on the organic strawberries or skipping over all the conventional strawberries, including the NON-GMO ones.

Cage-Free, Free-Range, Grass-Fed, Hormone-Free, Antibiotic-Free, Natural, or All-Natural Labels

These terms can be used without the independent verification that a third party provides. This makes them meaningless. Add to the list “No Antibiotics Used” or “No additional hormones added.” When I see one of these terms without a third-party certification, I assume the company is greenwashing.

Gluten-Free and Other Allergen Labels

Food allergies are on the rise and can be deadly. In the U.S. and Canada, labels must note foods that contain the top allergens, gluten, and added sulphites. When something has an added “Gluten-free” label that means that the item does not include any gluten-containing ingredients, although there still may be cross-contamination. An item can be certified gluten-free as long as it has 20 parts-per-million of gluten or less, which is safe for those with Celiac disease. For most people avoiding gluten, it is enough to just contain the gluten-containing grains which are: wheat, kamut, semolina, spelt, barley, bulgur, and rye.


Often certified foods or products ARE sold at a premium, but the entire premium goes to the middlemen.” Farmers/producer stay poor. End consumers have no or just very little idea about product background (nutritional quality, environmental and social impact). Also fertilizing, the use of chemical pesticides and growth hormones in conventional farming has caused, and is causing, enormous damage worldwide to local ecosystems, biodiversity, groundwater and drinking water supplies, and sometimes farmer health and fertility.

Local food and seasonal food?

In a ideal world people would buy local food. Local fruits.

So if Europeans buy apple nothing to worry about right?

No. Its not that simple. Europe has been importing Chilean Apples like crazy in 2018 because also of the climate change and the droughts in Europe (Chilean apple exports rose by about 60% to EU). Also there is a EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ and apples are the 4th worth produce you can consume with the highest pesticides. According to that study 90% of conventional apples had detectable pesticide residues. 80% of apples tested contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe. So if you do like apples try to eat them locally and seasonally. Good luck.

SOLUTION: Be the change you want to see!

We can encourage this by demanding that for example chocolate makers / retailers provide straightforward information about their products. Ask some hard questions about the chocolate on your store shelves—how much did farmers earn for the cocoa in this bar? Was it higher than the world market price, or about the same? What country did the cocoa beans come from? Expect to get correct information, and if someone answers you, “Switzerland,” start shopping somewhere else.

Possible solution in the Age of Social Media

(1) Cutting out as many intermediaries as possible from the food industry “value chain”

(2) Selling added value product via direct shipping (DropShipping) and subscriptions

(3) Labeling & communication: Transparent cost, quality and value for the end client

(4) Not limiting to one or a few products but enabling a generic direct trade system for farmers to create top quality added value products they can sell directly to end clients – thus increasing the potential gain for the farmer – thus motivating younger people to start farming again.

(5) You can be the change. After all you are going to eat it. So logically you should care about it…

(6) We could start to sell organic produce directly from the farmers to the consumers. DropShipping farm to table organic tropical crops aka “fair trade in the time of Social Media” …

Possible Solution something like CrowdContainer

Nutrition – Flexitarianism

Written by Matthew Livingston and originally published at the blog

DISCLAIMER: These are my thoughts and experiences on what can be a deeply cultural, charged and personal topic: diet. There is a lot we don’t know, especially when it comes to what a sustainable diet is. For one, most studies have been centred in high-income Western countries (Jones et al., 2016); it’s also still largely unclear exactly what a “healthy diet” should consist of, nevertheless what a truly sustainable society would look like. Integrating all of these concepts is an enormous challenge.

“Defining what represents a macro-nutritionally balanced diet remains an open question and a high priority in nutrition research.” (Song et al., 2016)

Before coming to the Ranch, I had been vegetarian for about a year and a half, predominantly for environmental reasons. Currently, I would probably classify as a “flexitarian” or “ethical omnivore”, as are most of the denizens here, with the majority of the diet being plant-based. Ideally ~95% of our calories would come from plants, due to extensive research on the health, longevity and environmental benefits of eating a predominantly plant-based diet (123). A 95:5 plant to meat ratio is manifest in all of the Blue Zones (4), examples being Okinawa & Sardinia, where people live the longest and most healthful lives in the world. Allow me to explain how I came to this decision and why I’m sticking with it for now…

My original swap to vegetarianism was influenced by my desire to live “more sustainably”, and healthily, as it is for many people now. I saw the documentary film “Cowspiracy” (bear with me) and this initiated my research into food and agriculture, which carried over into my environmental sustainability degree. It was also enough to shift one of my fundamental behavioural patterns – my diet. It was a little tough going at first,  but I soon found that I didn’t miss eating meat much at all. I felt a bit better about myself, “knowing” that I wasn’t contributing as much to global warming, as my research indicated that changing one’s diet can be one of the most impactful ways of reducing your carbon footprint (Aleksandrowicz et al., 2016)…

Fast forward to May 2017, when I travelled to Ridgedale Permaculturefarm in Sweden for my Permaculture Design Course with Richard Perkins. Richard is a proud meat-eater, being particularly fond of freshly line-caught fish, properly cured bacon & sausages, and a nice, juicy steak from locally reared, regeneratively farmed livestock, as viewers of his Youtube channel will know. He was keen to point out that there are in fact “no ecosystems on this planet that exist without animals driving the nutrient cycling” (Perkins, 2016). Ecosystems depend on the cycling of nutrients (and minerals) in order to function, and these nutrients can be accumulated, dispersed and concentrated by animals in such a way as to benefit the whole.

One beautiful example of this is the salmon of British Columbia, that feed the bears, eagles, forests and pretty much everything else that lives there with nitrogen and other accumulated minerals from the ocean when they return to their spawning grounds. Another was the Great Plains of North America, where tens of millions of bison roamed. These prairie lands were extraordinarily diverse habitats for a multitude of co-evolved flora & fauna, micro and macroscopic. Now they have predominantly been turned into endless fields of corn, wheat and soybeans, using fossil-fuel powered machinery and chemicals to maximise profit whilst depleting soil of not only its nutrients, contributing to erosion and nitrogen runoff, but its life too.

Regenerative Agriculture aims to work differently. The challenge is to maintain healthy yields and livelihoods whilst simultaneously enriching soil, biodiversity and ecosystems and improving the system’s ability to regenerate itself. Through various mechanisms, we can actually draw down carbon from the atmosphere and store it in soils and vegetation. What’s more, animals can help achieve this goal. Grazing animals such as bison co-evolved with grasses (which are extremely efficient sunlight accumulators, astronomically more so than our photovoltaic panels), such that massive herds would graze through perennial grasses whilst defecating and trampling the remnants down to create a mulch that left the soil covered, before moving on. The grasses would get a natural fertiliser boost but wouldn’t be eaten down completely, which meant that they could grow back and not have to deplete their soil nutrient reserves. Over time, this kind of rotational grazing, especially when well-managed, can build significant amounts of soil. At Ridgedale, they have employed it, along with other techniques such as Keyline Design, to build over 6 inches of soil in just four seasons. There is even a project called Pleistocene Park in northern Siberia that hopes to repopulate the Mammoth Steppe, which historically supported one of the largest densities of herbivores in history and could function as a massive carbon sink. Surely we need animals as a part of our (agri)culture, then?

Well, you might point out that ruminant animals like cows and sheep that we are now cultivating in extremely large numbers produce methane as a part of their digestion, a greenhouse gas with ~30 times more “global warming potential” than CO2. Greenhouse gas accountancy is a complex topic and there is still significant debate as to whether the sequestered carbon pays off the methane produced during the lifecycle of the animal (see Garnett et al., 2017 & P.P.S.); that said, it’s also possible that the earth historically supported much larger numbers of herbivores, many of which were likely driven extinct by humans thus contributing to ecosystem disruption, as discussed in Sapiens and elsewhere (78).

Another common argument is that eating animals is calorically inefficient when we could eat what we feed them. I would say this is a partially valid point in that animals, especially cattle, often need more land and water to produce than their plant-based counterparts, but it’s less valid when discussing purely grass-fed animals whose rumens are evolutionarily designed to digest grass, which most of us humans obviously don’t do very well; this suggests that if you want to obtain food from a parcel of land that wants to be grassland, you could force it to be not grassland, or you could manage and eat animals that are designed to live in and perpetuate that ecosystem. The Sustainable Food Trust goes so far as to say “the only sustainable way to obtain food from grassland is to graze it with ruminants”, which does sound a bit extreme especially considering that rabbits and geese are just two examples of non-ruminants that can be grass-fed. Livestock especially are getting a lot of bad rap due to the significant environmental damages of deforestation for pasture (an example of forcing an ecosystem to be something it doesn’t want to be) and their methane and nitrous oxide emissions (Steinfield, 2006; Stoll-Kleemann, 2015; many others).

Whilst not negligible, I’m concerned that many of the livestock systems under scrutiny aren’t representative of best-practice regenerative methods and that there is definitely the problem of reducing a living creature to the efficiency metric of its greenhouse gas emissions per kg of meat without considering all of its other beneficial functions and services; this metric has led people to the conclusion that “landless systems” or feedlots are better for the environment (Garnett et al., 2017), despite animal welfare being known to be abysmal and where wastes are concentrated and rarely dealt with properly. These factors go against the principles of regenerative agriculture and thus wouldn’t be allowed to continue; yes, grass-fed cows and other ruminants require more land, but we could limit the amount of land devoted to raising them and thereby reduce the total stock and consumption. In this manner, by allowing animals and ecosystems to express their true functions and behaviours according to the co-evolutionary properties of the animals and their environments, it might be possible for humans to yield ethically sound animal-derived food that positively contributes to the whole-earth system.

There are also a few points I would like to discuss with regards to plant-based (especially vegan) diets. Vegetables and whole grains, which form the staples of most healthful plant-based diets, as well as fruits and nuts, obviously take some amount of energy to produce, thus we need to consider where this energy or fertility comes from. We also need to consider where the dietary fat, protein and vitamin B12 will come from (amongst other nutrients/minerals) when meat is abstained from completely; I believe it is possible to meet your protein needs on a plant-based diet (Ranganathan et al., 2016), but doing so in the dead of winter in a temperature climate in a sustainable manner might be more difficult (are the Inuits an unsustainable people?)

Even the “most sustainable”farming methods I am aware of (which may or may not be organic certified) acknowledge that the inputs to grow food ultimately have to come from biological nitrogen fixation, conversion via animals, or inorganic elements (chemicals). For example, compost is vital to almost all organic, traditional and regenerative farms, and often incorporates animal manure, which adds additional nitrogen and biology to the soil and ultimately to the plants. The only exceptions I can think of to this would be Jean-Pain compost (which uses only wood chips and water) and Masanobu Fukuoka style rice and winter wheat cultivation, where the straw from the previous crop was left on the field as mulch and nutrients. Even the ancient and incredibly successful Meso-american Chinampas systems, as well as the rice cultivating nations of China, South Korea and Japan, have utilised ferti-irrigation techniques comprised predominantly of the wastes of fish as nutrients. Thus, since no sustainable farming methods can use inorganic chemicals derived from fossil fuels, most consumers that eat a purely plant-based diet are still deriving their nutrients from (the functioning and inclusion of) animals… Perhaps the question then becomes can, should and how would we integrate animals into our farming systems without eating them?

I’m still considering the implications of these questions and my position on the frequency and type of my animal consumption. We’ve had four “Pig Parties” in the four months I’ve been here at the Ranch, and chicken about once a week on average, all of which was reared and slaughtered locally in Mastatal. This corresponds pretty well to a 95:5 plant:meat ratio (see P.P.P.S.). For the first of the two pigs I visited the farm where it lived, died and bore witness to how it was processed; for the second we had an intro on how to properly butcher a pig. I think this is a crucial missing link for the majority of meat consumers and we need to continue building awareness of the realities of industrial slaughterhouses. Both of the animals I visited lived outdoors in tropical home gardens, feeding on bananas and other food scraps, although I’ve now been told it’s likely they were fed some concentrated feed. Pigs will eat just about anything, including chickens – they are probably the ultimate organic material recycling animal. Feeding farm animals to other farm animals is illegal in many parts of the world, but we need to always be searching for ways to turn “waste” into food, and pigs are one effective way of doing so. They in turn provide manure to feed back into the ecosystem and, when the time is right, are themselves converted into protein, fat and flavour for dozens of people for multiple meals. They can also provide piglets so that the system can continue, perhaps indefinitely. Without pigs in this system, you would have to replace the dietary protein and fat, which in our climate would likely come from more annual beans and palm oil from cleared forest land, as well as find another method of recycling the food scraps (vermi-compost is great, but doesn’t provide food in return).

Based on this discussion, I would like to present my initial take on a scale to classify diets based on their ability to be sustained, from best to worst:

  1. Local regenerative
  2. Local organic certified
  3. Non-local regenerative
  4. Non-local organic certified (many vegetarians/vegans in cities)
  5. Local conventional
  6. Non-local conventional (most consumers)

Where locality is on a scale from hyper-local (within 5km), to local (within 50km), to regional (within 250km), to non-local (further than 250km). Another important variable that goes hand-in-hand with locality is seasonality. Thus a checklist for regenerative dietary choices might be something like:

  1. Is it local? (as the crow flies to place of origin): <=5km — <=50km — <=250km — >250km — Don’t know
    1. Does it come from your garden, your nearest farmer, your nearest market, or another country?
  2. Is it in season?: Yes — No — Don’t know
    1. Are you regularly eating avocado, chocolate or coffee in winter in a temperate climate? What can you eat and drink locally and seasonally to replace imported goods you habitually desire?
    2. Are you consuming fermented foods and beverages? The Japanese have one of the strongest food cultures (called Washoku 和食) and longest lived people in the world, and 5/6 of their staple food ingredients are fermented foods. Fermentation is not only extremely beneficial for your health, but ties in beautifully with preserving the abundance of the harvest.
  3. Was it produced regeneratively?
    1. Did it build soil and/or sequester carbon?: Yes — No — Don’t know
    2. Did its production support local farmer(s)/community? Yes — No — Don’t know
    3. Did it use no chemicals and no or very little fossil-fuel powered machinery in its production? Yes — No — Don’t know

It is my guess that many consumers would tick No or Don’t Know for every field, whilst falling into the worst category (non-local conventional). We need to shift first from ignorance to awareness before we can shift to understanding and action – behavioural change is flipping hard! All I can say right now is the link between diet and planetary health is crucial in navigating our transition towards a sustainable prosperity.

Let me be clear: plant-based diets are absolutely a big part of the solution, and there are many cases (including the average Western diet) where meat consumption should be reduced, but nevertheless animals aren’t the enemy. Vegans, vegetarians and ethical omnivores have a common enemy, and that is industrial agriculture (especially feedlots, which are completely awful). Meat in moderation, i.e. Meat Mondays as opposed to Meatless Mondays, may be a way forward for many people, rather than jumping straight to 100% plant-based diets based on quinoa and avocados shipped in from someplace slightly more exotic. I think this better follows the Transition Ethic that Rob Hopkins thoroughly emphasises via the Transition Network, by meeting people where they’re at – there is an irrepressible demand for meat due to complex sociocultural factors that will take time to shift away from, but if we can make ethical compromises that simultaneously shift mindsets, we will be well on our way to a more symbiotic relationship between humans and Nature.

May The Triforce (Plants, Animals and Fungi!) Be With You!

P.S. Follow the debate here, and here.

P.P.S. For the adventurous you can read my Regenerative Agriculture Brief and explore the references there too!

P.P.P.S. Three meals a day with chicken for 52 meals and pork for 12 meals in a year = (365*3-(52+12))/(365*3)*100 = 94.2%.

References, a.k.a. some of the things I’ve read:


guanábana – 4m preparation finalized transplanting fruit trees

After more than 4 month of preparations and planning, this week we have been transplanting about almost 1000 guanábana tropical fruit trees. The plants seem to really like this climate and the geology of step hills here. Wikipedia: It’s tolerant of poor soil and prefers lowland areas between the altitudes of 0 metres to 1200 metres. It cannot stand frost. So in a nutshell perfect for our location at the edge of the amazonas region in Ecuador.

Image: guanabana tropical fruit

You have probably never heard of a guanábana fruit yet. It grows in many parts of the world and is known by many names. In the US&A it’s called “Soursop”. In Spain it is known as “Graviola”, in Ecuador and many other Latin American countries it is known as la ‘Guanábana’ (Annona muricata).

The flavour of the guanábana fruit is delicious – literally like a combination of strawberry and pineapple with an underlying creamy flavor of coconut or banana. Nothing less complex.

Although its rind is quite bitter, the fruit’s flesh is soft, smooth and sweet, and provides healthy carbohydrates as its major nutrient. Guanábana also contains a significant amount of vitamin C and several B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, along with a high amount of alkaline forming calcium, an important mineral for bone health.

During the last 4 month we have been preparing this moment where we would finally transplant the Guanábana trees at finca PermaTree. Due to the fast growing pasture we had to clear cut the 3Ha all by hand before being able to make the specific measurements and then dig all of the holes for the plants. Then we found a high quality supplier for the needed amount of organic matter where we chose to mix two different types together. Every plant got about 1kg of organic matter. After one week of hard work among 7 we did it! Yeah.

Tropical Fruits at PermaTree in Amazonas Region of Ecuador

Tropical Fruits at finca PermaTree at the edge of the amazonas region in Ecuador, South America. We are between the warm tropical / subtropical lowlands and the cool sierra region.

We are growing a extreme diverse mix of common tropical fruit with native species to Ecuador and Latin America, as well as many new varieties from the Asian continent with similar tropical climate. Our goal is to have food forest with a vast variety of tasty, healthy fruits.

Fruit Forest

Our goal with finca PermaTree here, is to grow all of the existing possible exotic fruits of the planet in one place. Just because we can. And maybe because we the humans are ending natural diversity and this is a growing future issue for the next generations of humans on the planet. We are not here to save the planet or whatever… The planet does not need us. WE need the planet earth.

All-ready harvesting tropical fruits from

  • Papaya  
    Papaya / Paw Paw – Carica papaya
  • Sapote
    Sapote – Nahuatl tzapotl
  • Guaba / Ice-cream-bean 
    Guaba (Ice cream bean) Inga edulis
    Maracuya – passiflora maliformis  (Passionfruit) Yellow skin

  • Granadilla – passiflora ligularis (Passionfruit) Orange skin
    Plátano (Plantain) Musa paradisiaca
  • Guineo / Banana  
    Guineo (Bananas)  Yellow / Reddish
  • Opening ripe Cacao pods 
    Cacao (Cocoa) Theobroma cacao

  • Caña de azúcar (Sugar cane) Saccharum officinarum

  • Guayaba (Guava) Psidium guajava

  • Naranjilla (Lulo) Solanum quitoense
  • Mango 
    Mango – Mangifera indica
  • Piña - Pineapple  
    Piña (Pineapple) Ananas comosus




Sooner or later to be harvested exotic fruits:

  • Guanabana / corazon-de-india / Soursop
    Guanábana (Soursop) Annona muricata
  • Coconut 
    Coco (Coconut) Cocos nucifera

  • Salak (Snake Fruit)
    Durian – Durio zibethinus
    Jackfruit (Jackfruit) Artocarpus heterophyllus
    Cherimoya (Custard Apple) Annona cherimoya
  • Fruti-Pan / Breadfruit
    Fruti Pan (Breadfruit) Artocarpus altilis
    Babaco (Mountain Papaya) Vasconcellea × heilbornii

  • Mangosteen – Garcinia mangostana
  • Noni / Morinda-citrifolia
    Noni – Morinda citrifolia
  • Carambola / Star-Fruit
    Carambola (Star fruit)
  • Pitahaya - Yellow Dragon Fruit  
    Pitahaya – Stenocereus/Hylocereus, (Dragon fruit)

  • Achotillo / Rambutan – Lychee
  • Borojo – Alibertia patinoi

Check out our fruit of Ecuador poster here on issuu or