Multilingual, multi-cultural builder of international brands, Jorge Gotuzzo has digitally transformed Pace International—and offers his insights to avert the food crises in 2050.
A thought leader and innovator, our colleague, Jorge Gotuzzo embraces technology in an industry that’s been slow to digitize: produce. He’s traveled extensively, lived in multiple countries, and managed diverse food-related brands around the globe, always focused on sustainability and shared responsibility. Since 2014, he has been applying his skills as Global Marketing Director at Pace International, the world’s leader in post-harvest produce solutions, in order to do his part to help prevent a global food shortage.
Pace International is a subsidiary of Valent BioSciences Corporation (of Sumitomo Chemical Company) and the leading provider of postharvest solutions for produce, Pace International works to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables through innovative solutions and services.
I recently connected with Jorge to discuss food production in today’s world, and how we can avoid world hunger in 2050.
You’ve said that the world is in danger of running out of food, and I believe you, since you understand today’s food production systems better than anyone I know. I wanted to dive into root causes.
For example, we Americans have been conditioned to select fruits and vegetables that appear cosmetically perfect. How might that impact us in the decades to come?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), when you measure all produce from harvest to consumer usage, more than 45% of all fruits and vegetables go unused. That is almost half our global production!
7 billion people are alive today. By 2050, that number is expected to reach 9 billion. The question isn’t just how we produce more food to feed the growing population, but how we reduce overall waste. The looming crisis requires both food production innovations and changes in consumer behavior.
We must do much better. Imagine if the discarded product can get distributed to food programs in poor communities, rather than going straight to landfill? Imagine replacing processed snacks at schools with healthy and nutritious food, made from fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown out. Just these things alone would be game changing.
Earthquake devastation in Haiti. Alltech 2010
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. It was devastated by a 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 160,000 and displaced 1.6 million people.
At the time, you were with Alltech—and living in Port-au-Prince. For a decade, you managed marketing initiatives in dairy, beef, and aquaculture on behalf of this global biotech company working to boost the health of plants and animals using nature and science.
After the earthquake, you led the Sustainable Haiti Project, and Alltech adopted a small school. What can you tell us about your experience there? How did the widespread devastation affect your views on humanity, corporate philanthropy, and the need for sustainability?
Gotuzzo, speaking of his mission in founding the Sustainable Haiti Project.
While at Alltech, I was able to spend three months working with Haitian children and helped develop a sustainable coffee project. After the earthquake, Alltech adopted a small school to resume education—in spite of the widespread devastation. All of these experiences were life altering for me.
At that time, the company was the title sponsor of the World Equestrian Games (WEG2010) and our dream was to put together a children’s choir and to bring it to the U.S. for the opening ceremony performance. We wanted to show Haiti to the world through these beautiful little voices—and raise awareness about the recovery efforts.
Three months later, in time for start of the games, I found myself in Lexington, Kentucky with 26 children, two teachers, and one Catholic nun. That experience changed my life forever and helped me understand how lucky we are and how grateful we should be every day we’re alive.
That’s beautiful, and very inspiring.
Data allows us to listen, engage, communicate, and act faster—and with greater accuracy. But the food industry’s been slow to adopt it—and embrace the digital advances available today.
You recently led a holistic online rebranding effort—and introduced an innovative digital product catalog that stands out as a “first” among all Sumitomo Chemical companies. How did you help Pace International break the mold of slow adoption?
Culturally, Pace International is all about innovation and technology. We are always looking for new ways of supporting our customers, their consumers, and the industry overall.
But there was a disconnect between our digital efforts and the day-to-day business. The digital experience we offered the customer was falling behind—and causing the company as a whole to miss out on our best opportunity to engage. To stay current, we had to step up our game and create a digital face-lift. We committed to this—and elevated the entire brand experience.
I enjoy operating in an ever-increasing complex digital realm. I look forward to putting my energies toward innovations that sustain the world and meet people’s needs. It’s a win for me, a win for my company, and a win for society. I hope.
Feel free to connect with Mary Olson or Jorge Gotuzzo for further information.
I recently met with Mariana Antinori to learn how the most prescient leader of Italian fashion on Madison Avenue established her remarkable design niche. I also wanted to know how she evolved her beautiful reputation and the strong bonds and relationships that her friends and customers value.
Please accept my invitation to stop in and visit with Mariana Antinori. When you visit her shop, you will find a warm welcome and see that every exquisite hand-selected piece is unique.
The story about how Mariana’s reputation came about is remarkable. She descended from a great Florentine family where cultural and familial bonds have always been strong among Italy’s oldest families. As a family insider, Mariana has access to private network of elite designers and craftspeople, long proven elusive to outsiders. As a result, her exclusivity, insights and discerning taste became the cornerstones of her legendary name.
Photo by Raoul Didisheim, 2013
Mariana knows the alchemy of luxury and understands that real luxury trades on two attributes, speciality and exclusivity.
In 2012, Mariana introduced New Yorkers to the most stunning new generation of Italian jewelry and accessory designers virtually unknown in America.
She is one of a kind. She has the finest eye for style and design in Manhattan, sources the most exclusive fashion accessories, is a trusted advisor, and an ultimate storyteller. Her collections are a direct reflection of her design philosophy.
Mariana Antinori is fashion’s best friend to women who value discerning uniqueness and are looking for sophistication for special lifestyle moments.
Mary Olson: What do you recommend for women who would treasure something uniquely special for the holidays?
Mariana Antinori: Well, the mission of our shop is about speciality, but some interesting items that are new for the holidays include woven leather evening clutches with semi-precious stones from Capri. We also have some wonderful new collections of fine and costume jewelry pieces that I’m excited about.
OLSON: How do you see your collections evolving for the spring of 2016?
ANTINORI: I will continue to support Italian design by bringing smaller yet exclusive merchandise and evoking a highly personal shopping experience, but will expand the fine and costume jewelry. I think this is a special niche that is lacking in the market.
OLSON: Your trunk shows are important events. What are your thoughts as you build your following?
ANTINORI: I carry items that can’t be found elsewhere, and the trunk shows augment that. They allow designers the opportunity to expose their creations and give my customers a chance to see new things that they are not going to find in other stores. There is a great wealth of talent that I have access to, and I enjoy being able to share it.
OLSON: How important is understated luxury to you?
ANTINORI: To me, understated luxury means quality of life. It refers to beauty and style, original design and patterns, fabrics and the right proportions. It’s not about brands. That’s what my customers understand.
1242 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10128 USA
My new interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.
I am extremely pleased to include Thomas A. Nazario, an attorney and advocate for the world’s poor and forgotten, particularly women and children.
Profile: Thomas A. Nazario is a professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and the president and founder of The Forgotten International, a non-profit organization that provides poverty alleviation throughout the globe. Nazario’s expertise in children’s rights has led him all over the world documenting children’s rights violations.
Thomas Nazario is the author of Living on A Dollar A Day, The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor, the first genuinely comprehensive portrait of unimaginable poverty and suffering that also bears witness to the human spirit. His book will surely change your life from the minute you turn the first page. I can say that your compassion and resolve will change completely.
He writes about often overlooked communities around the world and helps us discover how we are far more alike than different. Living on a Dollar a Day is about our shared human condition, and Nazario reminds us that we must all continually pull together and care about one another, regardless of whether we seemingly inhabit different worlds.”
Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your experience?
Thomas A. Nazario: When I was young, I thought it was easy for people to grow and change, but as I have grown older and looked back on the people I have met and the experiences I have had, I have come to realize that people don’t change that much, at least in their character and in the way they approach life. I once told a friend this, and after she objected vehemently, I conceded that maybe people change up to 40%., but not much more than that, unless an epiphany comes their way, and that doesn’t happen too often because most of us lead quite sheltered lives.
I have often thought that it would be great to change people over the course of their life. To make good people out of bad, generous people out of the stingy, and peaceful loving people out of the hateful and violent, but somehow, either at birth or shortly thereafter, possibly through experiences that people have when they are young, too many of us get stuck in our ways. Of course that is fine if you are born to be a sweet and loving person. I have run into children who seem to have been born angels, and as I watched them grow, they usually remain so, and I think the same can be said about children who are quite difficult and mean spirited.
That isn’t to say that nothing can be done to help us all be better people. In fact, I spend quite a bit of my time trying to encourage people to be the best they can be, I am just suggesting that it is by no means an easy task, and I have yet to find the key that will open the hearts of so many of us to the love and compassion this world desperately needs.
MO: How do you see the way the world is emerging?
TN: Although I spend a lot of my time thinking about the problems confronting the world today and those we will face in the near future, I am actually optimistic. I am optimistic despite the fact that I am constantly hearing about wars in the Middle East, starvation and disease in Africa, poverty and exploitation in Asia, and of course, global warming affecting all of us. On top of this, I am very worried about the fact that the young people, who are likely going to be inheriting many of these woes, seem to be spending too much time on their Facebook or playing video games or texting friends or shopping. Nevertheless, the 20th Century was filled with great wars, millions upon millions of deaths, and poverty that was even worse than the poverty that exists today. So when comparing these two centuries, so far it looks like we are doing better, and as long as we continue to teach our children well, make medical and scientific advances, limit population growth, and try to put aside our differences to focus on the challenges before us, this world stands a chance. For now I will put my money on that.
MO: What are your thoughts as you look forward?
TN: Let me answer this question in a personal way. I have just turned 65, and although some people think about retiring at this age, I am simply not ready for that yet. The truth is that there is too much work to do, and at least with regards to the work I do, it has all been quite rewarding. I can’t see myself spending the rest of my life playing golf or traveling to scenic places around the world, and not continuing to do more to make the world a better place. I believe such work enriches people’s lives and brings meaning to a life well lived. My foundation, The Forgotten International, encompasses much of the work I do these days. The foundation works to alleviate poverty in several countries around the world, and in that regard also helps to relieve suffering, particularly that experienced by women and children (www.theforgottenintl.org). For me there could be no greater effort. So I will continue to do this work until I cannot do it any longer. Please feel free to visit us on the web and contact me. Also please consider exploring a book we just published about the world’s poor. It’s called Living on a Dollar a Day. It is intended to introduce many of us to people who have long been forgotten and are in need of help. So if you are considering some mission for yourself in life, please give some thought to at least spending a portion of your time helping those around the world who have so little and suffer so much. You will find that you will receive far more than you give in return.
Pricing Engine is the most innovative digital advertising solution for very small businesses.
Jeremy Kagan and Yagmur Coker, the co-founders of Pricing Engine, launched the first digital advertising solution in March of 2013 to help Very Small Businesses (VSB’s) compete against big companies.
Small businesses owners, who often lack time and money, use Pricing Engine’s one-stop-shop to easily buy, manage, and optimize digital advertising campaigns across multiple channels including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Foursquare.
It’s the only platform, where VSB’s with small budgets can quickly create one campaign and push it to multiple ad channels.
Pricing Engine not only created the most comprehensive suite of ad channels for VSB’s, it also gives the most actionable and easy-to-understand results based on advanced peer benchmarking algorithms.
So, immediately after launching a campaign, small business owners receive a Report Card with simple letter grades that lets them know how their campaign is performing compared to other similar businesses.
The team launched a few ad channels with over a thousand customers last March, but has grown to eight ad channels and a reach of hundreds of thousands of customers with its multiple, major resellers. Based on their unique data, they are releasing ongoing reports about how small business use digital advertising.
Pricing Engine will spend 2014 further carving out its leadership in serving the Very Small Business (VSB) market of main street, local and startup businesses.
Kudo’s to Pricing Engine for simply improving digital advertising!
Watch TRANSPARENT MACHINES a one minute film that explores why our society is obsessed with the conflicting concepts of transparency and privacy. We are “outraged” by the actions of the NSA, yet continue to willfully upload more and more of our personal information to Facebook and Google. This film explores the contradictory nature of our actions and beliefs regarding transparency.