Estefanía Baldeón Clavijo

Coordinating gastronomy administrator, CanopyBridge (an initiative by EcoDecisión)

Estefanía is the coordinating gastronomy administrator at CanopyBridge. She helps to build a sourcing network that connects businesses, producer associations and community groups buying and selling natural products. Their aim is to contribute to improved livelihoods, social empowerment and healthy ecosystems. For her, gastronomy is one of the most important pillars of Ecuadorian culture. She values and respects the products and traditions that make up Ecuador’s rich origin and history. For a year, she was part of an international group of students at the University of Gastronomical Sciences in Italy, where she received a Master’s degree in Food Culture and Communications. The program aimed to train professionals in the robust subject of Food Culture and Communications by visiting producers, regions, and restaurants that stand out and that are influencing society through policies or style of production. She believes working directly with producers on organic certified farms in the region of Cremona (Italy) was her most valuable learning experience. She was able to experience first-hand how innovation and tradition can go hand in hand with regard to production systems and culinary methods. Between experimentation and research studies, she is currently working to position Amazonian sustainable products in the supply chain of important restaurants. This involves talking to stations and working with local producers, as well as associations promoting fair trade and social development in various communities.