Paramo Snacks is a Colombian company created in 2018 that took shape in 2019, thanks to the leadership of its manager and co-founder, Margarita Cabal.  

The company has its Good Chips brand, which offers natural baked, oil-free products prepared from 100% fresh fruits or vegetables.  

Paramo Snacks began its operations with a social aim, within an agroforestry conversion project in rural communities living on the Colombian paramos. Margarita began working with women in a farming community called ASOARCE, to help communities to produce environmentally and sustainably in these mountainous areas.  

Likewise, Paramo Snacks was created as a way to empower rural women in a transformation process by linking their farming families to the organic market and projecting them to the international markets. Margarita tells us, “around 80% of food was lost due to lack of stable marketing systems and difficulties in the perishable product logistics.” For this reason, they developed a transformation process and a commercialization channel through Paramo Snacks.  

The company gained supportto achieve the organic certification of vegetable and tuber varieties such as beet chips, papa criolla potatoes and cassava. As Margarita says: “the organic market in Colombia is small and it is more difficult to obtain resources for certification. The solution was to integrate into value chains through mechanisms that allow the direct purchase of these products at fair prices, with products adapted to compete in international markets.” Therefore, the company provides financial opportunities to 100 farming families living in the Colombian paramo.  

In addition, 2% of all sales are allocated to protect and reconvert the paramo. Reforestation is a pillar in this initiative. The region has been actively reforested with native trees with an emphasis on protecting ecosystems including water sources.  

As a result of the work coordinated between TFO Canada and PROCOLOMBIA, Paramo Snacks was one of the companies selected from Colombia within the framework of the project “Women in Trade for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Growth.” This is carried out with the financial support of the government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada. Paramo Snacks received training in areas such as Export Plans, Corporate Social Responsibility, Digital Marketing, and E-commerce.  

In addition, as part of the project implementation activities in April 2022, Paramo Snacks attended the SIAL 2022 Agro-Food Trade Show held in the city of Montreal. At the event, the company was awarded with a prize for the sustainable development category due to its authenticity resulting from the ingredients, the transformation process, and the manufacturer’s commitments to sustainable development. The prize is a recognition of the efforts made by the company to protect ecosystems. Margarita says “we would like to give special thanks to TFO Canada and PROCOLOMBIA for giving us the opportunity to be at SIAL Canada 2022. Thanks to the exposure they allowed us by being here at the stand, we were able to participate in this important SIAL innovation contest and win one of the prizes”.  

TFO Canada is pleased to see the implementation of strategies provided during trainings to SMEs, and to enhance the access of these companies to international markets through trade fairs participation. We are committed to gender equality through our work by creating sustainable business partnerships for exporters from developing countries. We would like to thank Margarita Cabal, the general manager, for sharing her experiences.