June 2024

A Story From

Youth Initiatives

Two of the winners of Nestlé’s and UNESCO’s “Because Youth Matter” initiative present their ventures at the FAO World Food Forum 2023 in Rome.

Àngeles Marcial Mejia from Puebla, Mexico, founder of the start-up Earth-IoT is helping small-scale farmers across the country access cutting-edge farm data, through a savant mix of real-time farm monitoring and technical assistance – boosting the skills and profitability of potentially 80% of Mexican farmers.

A few thousand kilometers south, in Barranquilla, Colombia, Steffany Vizcaino is taking on deforestation, circular-style. Her start-up, Plantú, is a green community lab collecting paper residuals and transforming them into germinating paper and eventually into food. Steffany is clearly onto something: In Colombia, each year 2 million tonnes of paper and therefore forest are wasted.

What do Àngeles and Steffany have in common? They are both part of Nestlé’s and UNESCO’s “Because Youth Matter” initiative and they are both attending the World Food Forum between October 16 and 20, 2023 in Rome to present their ventures and secure support from FAO’s youth innovation ecosystem.


"Young entrepreneurs from all across Latin America are developing ground-breaking ideas to shape the future of food systems, but without further resources, skills and a network of contacts, they won’t achieve the scale they need to make a difference. This is why as part of 'Because Youth Matter' we have decided to support Plantú and Earth-IoT."

Christian Vousvouras,
Co-founder of Nestlé’s Youth Entrepreneurship Platform [YEP]


Àngeles and Steffany are among 20 entrepreneurs young leaders shortlisted to form the first cohort of the “Because Youth Matter” initiative – more than 900 applications were received. Only those with a compelling business proposition and a clear contribution to the SDGs made the cut.


“Earth-IoT and Plantù were chosen based on the power of their ideas and, above all, their contribution to society. We clearly see a potential for growth and invite everyone to join Àngeles and Steffany either on-site or online for the World Food Forum in Rome.”

Laurie Chartrand,
Consultant at the UNESCO Youth Section


Join our side event: “Because Youth Matter – Investing in Youth potential”. October 18, 4 to 5PM (CET) at the World Food Forum in Rome. Meeting room Austria or online on Zoom.

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