emerging blog

Paulina helps Emerging with commercial market outreach, in particular with delegation coordination for trade missions. She is the lead event planner, coordinating the planning and onsite logistics of all sizes of events around the world. Paulina is also involved in Emerging’s online and offline communications, in particular content and community management, branding and marketing activities. Paulina has worked for many national and international media networks covering different events - not only in front of the microphone, but also as advertising sales consultant, media relations, marketing manager and host for official and public events. Her experience in Rome includes working in digital communications for the private sector and as press officer for the United Nations agency International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

A Mexican national, she is fluent in Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Universidad Mexicana and a Laurea Magistrale in Journalism from the Università di Roma Tre. Paulina has been living in Europe for the past 7 years and is currently based in Rome, Italy.

Implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda: The 2017 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up

“The Addis Agenda and the SDGs can bring the public and private sector together for sustainable development.” —Ms. Preeti Sinha, Senior President, YES Institute, India

Building on the official summary of the forum by the President of ECOSOC, a new publication has been released to provide detailed coverage of the substantive discussions at the 2017 Second Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) forum on financing for development follow-up (FfD forum), held from 22 to 25 May 2017 in New York. It also includes a series of annexes containing summaries of the side events held during the forum and other relevant documents.

Overall, the 2017 FfD forum sent a strong signal that the international community remains deeply committed to global collaboration and to enhance partnerships for sustainable development, despite a challenging global macroeconomic environment and the threats posed by climate change, humanitarian crises and conflicts. 

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Understanding Addis Ababa: Financing for development

2016 was the first full year of implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Efforts have begun at all levels to mobilize resources and align financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities in support of all three dimensions of sustainable development. The recently launched advance unedited draft of 2017 report of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development Addis Ababa Action Agenda calls on businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges, and invites them to engage as partners in implementation of the sustainable development agenda. 

I could not overlook the following acknowledgment: “While the large preponderance of private business activity remains profit driven, a growing number of institutions have double or triple (social and environmental) bottom lines.” 

As the report highlights, it is important to recognize that the private sector includes a wide range of diverse actors, from individual households and international migrants to multinational corporations. And that Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, employment and economic growth.

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Feed the Truth

Depending on where you were born, when you think about famous Mexican figures different names might come to mind: El Chapulin Colorado, El Santo, Benito Juárez, Emiliano Zapata or Frida Kahlo. You might know some of them, but you may not have heard of Daniel Lubetzky. The son of a Holocaust survivor, Daniel is a Mexican-American entrepreneur, author,activist, founder and CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND). 

On February 15th, Daniel Lubetzky announced the launch of Feed the Truth. Established as an independent organisation, Feed the Truth will seek to improve public health by revealing and counteracting the food industry’s undue influence in shaping nutrition policy and ability to disseminate biased science, in addition to other activities that are detrimental to public health. “We’re eager for Feed the Truth to step in and hold all of us in the food community accountable for what we say and claim,” said Lubetzky.

To ensure Feed the Truth’s independence from KIND, Lubetzky will remove himself entirely from all activities and governance of the new organisation. Feed the Truth’s independent Board of Directors, once established, will seek to ensure consumers have access to unbiased nutrition information.

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Another Year Oat-ver…

Another year is about to end, and with that some interesting projects will end as well. You might already know that in November, Emerging ag assisted the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) in a Trade Mission to Mexico to help promote oats in the country. We could not be more pleased with the main outcomes of this mission:

  • 19 media attendants at 2 tasting events 
  • 2,000 oats samples distributed at World’s Diabetes Day event
  • 4 meetings with processors and importers
  • 1 Briefing on Mexican market
  • 7 mission participants from POGA

While we hibernate this holiday season, this is also a good time to think of new ways to continue promoting Canadian oats in Mexico. Maybe a cooking workshop with nutritionists? A recipe cookbook? We will also relaunch some of the activities that have proved success like a Recipe contest and new recipe photographs. 

If you wish to share a healthy oats recipe, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Don’t forget to take a nice photo of your creation. 

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Trade Mission to Mexico: You oat-ta love this!

I did not ask to be Mexican, I was just lucky to be born in this beautiful country. My luck doubled when I joined Emerging, which allowed me to be part of many interesting projects, including one to promote oats in Mexico with the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA). I like food in general, but I love oats more. 

Since 2013 we have been helping POGA with a campaign to promote this cereal in Mexico and to better understand the market opportunities for Canadian oat producers in Mexico. This past November we took a small delegation for a Trade Mission to Mexico City and Guadalajara to meet with relevant players in the country, as well as to host 2 media events and be part of the World’s Diabetes Day awareness event in Mexico City. 

Attended by 2,000 Mexicans, on November 13th the Mexican Diabetes Federation and the Mexican Ministry of Health organised a public event in Mexico City to raise awareness on this disease that is affecting more than 6 million people and is one of the main causes of death in the country. That was a sunny Sunday when Mexicans did many fun activities such as dancing Zumba and watching Lucha Libre wrestlers (if you want to see these funny developments visit this link). Since oats are a suitable food for people living with diabetes, POGA was granted with a booth to distribute recipe cards and fact sheets to promote oats and their nutritional properties. POGA partnered with the largest oat company in the world, Grupo Vida, who contributed with free oats samples to hand out during the event. 

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Avena Canadiense Recipe Competition: Mexican Oat Lovers Submit Over 150 Recipes!

Did you ever think that you can make the Mexican dish tamales with oats? How about oats ice cream or lasagna? Honestly we haven´t, but the Mexicans have!
As part of the promotional activities, POGA held two recipe contests through the
Avena Canadiense Fan Page profile targeting Mexican users.  

Launched in February, the first recipe contest concluded successfully with 3 winners and 64 recipes submitted by Mexican users. Given the incredible response, POGA launched a second contest in May which drew in a whopping 160 oats recipes! They include:

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Forget about the weather, there are more original ways to make small talk: IYP 2016 in Latin America

Semana Nacional de la Nutricion 2016-1Since the United Nations started to declare International Years in 1960, only 3 foods have received such recognition: rice, potatoes and quinoa. 2015 was dedicated to soils, 2014 to the importance of Family Farming... This year pulses entered this honorary list of UN International Years, ready to show the world how much they contribute to the global food security, to people’s diets and to the soils.

As a Mexican, pulses and especially beans, are close to my heart since childhood. I was a difficult child who did not want to eat veggies. Can you guess what I preferred to eat instead? Beans. Frijoles de la olla with scrambled eggs. My niece’s favorite food is also beans... No wonder why we are called Frijoleros. 

To track down what is happening in Latin America, this month I attended a couple of events dedicated to the International Year of Pulses 2016. Organised by INTA (Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria), the LXI PCCMCA annual meeting took place in San Jose on April 5-8. The meeting gathered 300 attendants from many countries from the region including Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico, to discuss regional strategies for food security, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

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A Decade for Nutrition: What is the global starting point?

On April 1st, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025. This document aims to support the battle against hunger and all forms of malnutrition in the Agenda 2030. This time the goals intend to leave no one behind, unlike their predecessors Millennium Development Goals that aimed to halve the percentage of people living with hunger. A target which was met.

According to the WHO, nearly 800 million people remain chronically undernourished and 159 million children under 5 years of age are stunted. Approximately 50 million children under 5 years are wasted, over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. If you would like to understand the different types of undernutrition read more here. Furthermore, 1.9 billion people are affected by overweight, and over 600 million are obese. This, unfortunately, is increasing.

Also on April 1st, the British medical journal The Lancet published the results of the latest global nutrition panorama. Over the past 40 years, according to the study, the rate of obesity has increased 2.6-fold, from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014. Nearly 13 per cent of the global population is now obese, compared to 9 per cent who are underweight, the study found.

The study suggests that if post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting global obesity targets is virtually zero. Rather, if these trends continue, by 2025, global obesity prevalence will reach 18% in men and surpass 21% in women. Unfortunately it was not an April fool’s joke. Is time to start taking obesity and overweight, and most importantly health, seriously.

Who ranks first in Childhood obesity?

oatmeal-pepper_DSC_1595
Oatmeal Chile poblano stuffing, recipe available on Avenacanada.com

Mexico can boast of many things, like being the first exporter of avocados in the World, or being the first to drink and cook one of the most delicious, and healthy, ancient foods, hot chocolate. The root for this word comes from the náhuatl xocolātl, and was actually kept in almost all languages.

But one of the things that Mexicans are not proud of, is the obesity problem still spreading all over the country. Embarrassingly, Mexico ranks first in both childhood and adult obesity. Sadly, Mexico also ranks first in childhood diabetes. A disease which is one the leading causes of death in the Aztec country.

As a response to these alarming issues, the Prairie Oat Growers Association decided to see how they can help through the website targeting Mexican consumers. Last December, we met with representatives of the Mexican Diabetes Federation, to join their campaign focused on the prevention and treatment of the disease.

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Aztec Oats Recipes

avena barrasDespite the enormous progress that Mexico has generally experienced in recent years, malnutrition and childhood obesity are still a worrying problem. In the age group of 5 to 14 years, chronic malnutrition is 7.25% in urban populations, while the number double in rural areas. On the other hand, childhood obesity has increased dramatically in recent years. Currently, Mexico ranks first  in childhood obesity worldwide, and second in obesity in adults, preceded only by the United States.

The Mexican Government and food companies have been working on social campaigns to fight obesity. As a result, the market for oats has been growing as consumers recognize the dietary benefits of whole grains. Emerging Ag is helping POGA, since 2012, to promote the nutritional benefits of oats in the Aztec country.

Last year, POGA launched an online advertising campaign that has obtained success among Mexican consumers. While the website AvenaCanada.com receives a daily average of 700 unique visitors, the Facebook Fan Page has over 31,200 followers.

Although oats are not a traditional staple food in Mexico, there are many ways in which they can be incorporated into their diets. Being a Mexican, I have been commissioned with the fun task of creating these recipes. Enchiladas with tortillas made with oats, Atole and horchata with oats, and many more. Have a look at the Mexican recipes featuring oats here. More creative recipes will come soon. Oats porridge with cotija cheese and jalapeño toppings? Everything is possible, so stay tuned.