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.
My new interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, marketing, 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.
Scott Mitchell discusses his professional background, current focus, and insights about how the world is emerging.
Profile: A 20 year Sumitomo Chemical Group Company employee, Mr. Mitchell is working to grow the Sumitomo Chemical business in the Americas with a focus on enhancing the Sumitomo Chemical brand, improving the efficiency of administrative functions and developing new business.
The company’s diverse business categories include basic chemicals, petrochemicals & plastics, IT-related chemicals, health & crop sciences, and pharmaceuticals.
C-Suite Blog: Never stop evolving and sharing knowledge.
Sumitomo Chemical’s corporate values and business philosophy extend to the Group Companies of the Americas by contributing solutions to the problems facing the global environment and society, and the enrichment of people’s lives. In order to accomplish these global needs and challenges, Mr. Mitchell is working to achieve a balance of profitable business operations, the preservation of the environment, safety, health, product quality and social activity.
Scott exemplifies the concept of harmony between the company’s interests and those of the public through his long time engagement in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work.
Scott is also an active member of a number of United Nations Advisory and Workgroups. These are consultative groups that support the UN Global Compact and Global Compact Lead organizations and engage corporate CSR sponsors to work toward alleviating poverty and sustainable global development.
Through the company’s endeavors in these critical areas, Scott hopes to play a significant role in building a sustainable society and realizing the corporate goals.
Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your experience?
Scott N. Mitchell: I have enjoyed an exceptional career. I have been on an exciting trajectory for the past twenty years with Sumitomo Chemical Company.
Our philosophical business history is grounded in the concept of harmony between the company’s interests and those of the public including the environment and our global society. I have always taken my stewardship of business ethics and change and innovation to heart.
I am turning fifty in a few weeks. I have a long perspective of global business, social responsibility, and the driving forces of change.
I like to understand everything about change. I especially like to explore the points at which ideas, trends, and behavior cross certain thresholds. What illuminates the best decisions to initiate change?
Although I do not feel that my view is changing radically, I think I am becoming more practical about my/our actions.
Looking back, I was more willing to swing for the fences on every hit. I think I am more reserved and willing to accept smaller steps toward progress.
Having said that, more and more speed is necessary to stay ahead with a brand that faces today’s challenges to meet global needs and enrich people’s lives.
…if you choose to be in the race, you need to lead with change and innovation.
MO: How do you see the way the world is emerging?
SNM:It is an exciting time to be alive! Especially whenever and wherever people share responsibility for each other.
I think the world is emerging with greater complexity.
I believe the world is becoming more multi-modal. We face significant implications based on all the options available.
There are extreme cross-overs between normal and dysfunctional variances controlled by businesses, societies, and governments.
This is a time when moral competitive business processes are challenged by companies who do harm to the environment and our fellow human beings.
Globalization requires a markedly greater need of illuminated corporate cultures that society can trust.
In the global context, there are exceptional companies and individuals demonstrating responsible focus and leadership in every category, on every front.
Through my work at the United Nations, our advisories and consultative groups engage corporate social responsibility (CSR) sponsors to work toward alleviating poverty and sustainable global development.
I am encouraged on another level, because mutual well-being and respect for the public good is capturing the attention of my sons’ generation (Gen Z).
MO: What are your thoughts as you look forward?
SNM: I think we must be open to change…and not just the surface, but real change. Change requires clarity and understanding. Most ignore change because it is very difficult. But we need to make a choice. Not choosing is a choice. There are major implications of change and how we view our businesses and lives.
Defining and/or redefining ourselves (companies, products, people) is required today for going forward.
I wish we had more perfect information to make our choices, but we do not… it is the speed thing again. We must have our antennae up and our eyes open.
It is an exciting time for those of us who have an intense interest in change and innovation and producing new adaptive value—for ourselves and the brands we manage.
C-Suite executive roles are diminishing at a rapid pace while technology and social culture are generating new levels of complexities for leadership and governance.
The bias is toward short-term solutions. Materialization of rapid results is de rigueur these days.
Today, many C-Suite execs operate without an explicit contract(1) and face obvious decreased job security. The probability of turnover is the highest in today’s market mainly because of the shortened executive contractual time horizons.
Many C-Suite executives see the end of the runway as these forces cause them to transform into outside advisors.
Here are the primary attributes of today’s outside C-Suite advisors:
Appetite for the forces of change
Focused on brand value, customer experience and technology
What’s next for you? How do you leverage your expertise? Most importantly, how do you frame your identity, create new opportunities and communicate your value?
It is useful to consider personal branding. A well-designed personal brand is a major driver for leveraging your value, identity and attracting new opportunities.
Those of us who perceive the value of personal branding already appreciate logo design, brand identity systems and the financial valuation of the brands we manage.
Your name is the anchor of your identity. Your core message and its relevance demonstrate the value you offer. Developing a meaningful relationship with your brand’s viewers is a vital part of the path to engagement.
Personal branding requires a commitment of time, budget and resources. Invest in yourself.
MailChimp is a high-performance marketing platform with a rock solid infrastructure to power email marketing. MailChimp is yet another fearless and responsive innovator among the recipients of my 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH list.
Co-Founders, Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut recognized the importance of their own data intelligence and user trends. Ever since launching the brand in 2001, Kurzius and Chestnut have demonstrated flexibility and industry-wide leadership. For instance, they looked at the rapidly changing mobile landscape, went through a rigorous redesign, and made MailChimp Mobile universal.
Mail Chimp is a great marketing tool. It provides an easy way for users to send email newsletters, manage subscriber lists and track campaign performance. Over 5 million people in 200 countries use MailChimp send more than 4 billion emails a month through MailChimp.
It offers a variety of basic and advanced features (like templates, list segmentation, a/b testing, geo-targeting and ROI tracking) and makes them accessible to the everyday user through automation and a competitive price point.
Its platform uses an open API and encourages other systems and web applications to integrate with its email-marketing engine.
Currently they offer integrations with systems such as PayPal, Google Analytics, Shopify, Magento, Salesforce and several others.
According to Ben Chestnut, “People just want to get their work done with whatever tools they can get their hands on. We just want to help them get that work done easily.”
Ben Chestnut, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dan Kurzius, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer
512 Means Street NW
Atlanta, GA, 30318
Mozilla is illuminated with vision, innovation and momentum. Mozilla launched over a decade ago with a far-sighted plan that was as radical as the Web itself: use open source and community to simultaneously create great software and build openness into the key technologies of the Internet itself.
2013 was an exciting year for the Web as Mozilla moved faster forward than the pace of the market and doubled down on mobile with Firefox OX, the mobile operating system. Why would Mozilla make a dramatic pivot from desktop software when its ubiquitous Firefox browser serves a 300+ Million user base?
Mozilla’s webmaker mission has always been fearless. It is focused on engaging and empowering the next 2 Billion smartphone users in emerging markets around the world. This spectacular market constitutes the people coming online for the first time.
“It’s critical that all these new mobile users have access to the openness and empowerment that the Web has brought to date. The mobile browser is a necessary piece of making sure this happens. We have been intent on making the change into mobile and reinvigorating our relationships with commercial players,” says Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation
Mozilla’s rapid shift toward commercial hardware partners includes ZTE, Alcatel and LG; and operator partners Telefonica, Deutche Telkom, Telenor and Telcom Italia Mobile. Firefox OX for Android surpassed 50 million downloads in 2013.
Leadership is the key to Mozilla’s values, principles and its ever-respected reputation for protecting the open platform. Did you know it is the most trusted Internet company for privacy?
It continues to change the world with technologists, thinkers and builders working together to create enormous scale, leverage and impact.
Get to know Mozilla.
Mozilla Corporation is the fifteen year old developer of open source products and technologies that improve the human experience. Best known for Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla uses technical excellence to build openness, innovation and decentralized participation into the Internet.
The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit, public benefit organization that builds software, communities and frameworks for openness and participation. The Foundation is home to one of the world’s largest open source projects.
Mitchell Baker, Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation. Time magazine lists Mitchell Baker as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Baker ranks #3 in Bloomberg/Businessweek’s 25 most influential people on the Web. Mitchell was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society. She also received the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Social Impact.
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!
AVATAR RESEARCH INSTITUTE’S (ARI) raison d’être is boosting innovation in a global environment. This remarkable think tank is launching its brand in 2014 and has been building its business model for nine years. AVATAR received a 501C3 nonprofit designation in 2013 and is set to cultivate the art of thinking together through designing environments for new knowledge creation and strengthening the innovation ecosystem.
Anna Duran, AVATAR’s visionary founder and recognized social scientist, realized the demand for cultural knowledge across sectors that include corporate, small business, government and national security.
One of AVATAR’s goals is to develop and implement a technology framework for quick access to global and cultural-based data and information. The ease in which this type of material can be gathered across sectors is becoming critical to the formation and success of research, practice and policy development projects that focus on boosting innovation in and implementing solutions to complex socio-political problems.
A second cornerstone of AVATAR is to develop the leadership preparation and performance of the STEM workforce, which as a result, can greatly improve the retention rates of women, minorities and international high ability talent within R&D environments. ARI has designed and developed global STEM team assessment tools that provide insight into key areas that improve innovation and idea formation processes in working teams.
Dr. Duran has gathered together key policy makers, researchers and educators to illuminate the think tank. Serving on the Board of Directors are Daryl Chubin, Candice Hughes, Cindy Leiton and Jolynn Shoemaker; all of whom have been instrumental in planning a portfolio of implementation projects for AVATAR RESEARCH INSTITUTE.
AVATAR’s commitment to developing new researchers and policy makers through its innovative cross-sector programs to work across disciplines and national boundaries are the reasons AVATAR RESEARCH INSTITUTE is a BRAND TO WATCH in 2014.
I am very pleased to announce my 2014 BRANDS TO WATCH list of exceptional innovators representing art, fashion, finance, research, technology and writing.
The brands demonstrate outstanding management, vision, special innovations, 2013 financial results, and exceptional customer experience. These are companies I’ve watched; some are one’s I know well and believe in them.
This year’s distinguished brands include the following: