Food Forever Experience Cusco

Cusco, Peru

A three-day gastronomic and scientific voyage to celebrate the International Day on Biological Diversity 

Led by the Food Forever Initiative, in close collaboration with CIP, the Crop Trust and Inkaterra Hotels, the Food Forever Experience Cusco will take place from 22-24 May 2019. Featuring experts from the food and agriculture community in Latin America and beyond, the experience seeks to raise seeks to raise awareness of the enormous opportunities and vital importance of agrobiodiversity to food and nutritional security, climate resilience, business innovation and economic competitiveness. Through this event, we hope to catalyze support for the sustainable use of agrobiodiversity in Peru and internationally by bringing together leaders from government, business, science and the media to Cusco, in the heart of the Andes and the birthplace of the potato. Together, we can plant the seed for a more diverse, sustainable and delicious future.

Day 1: Welcome cocktail at Calle del Medio restaurant

On May 22, participants will be greeted at Calle del Medio, a hip restaurant overlooking the main square of the city of Cusco, for a cocktail showcasing biodiversity from Cusco and the Andes region. The cocktail will showcase different endemic and native crops to the Andes, such as tubers like oca, mashua and yacón, legumes like tarwi, grains like kiwicha, quinoa and cañihua and fruits like aguaymanto and chirimoya. The cocktail will exclusively work with locally sourced ingredients, including dozens of varieties of potatoes and other endemic species from the Cusco region, to create a unique culinary experience.

The cocktail will start at 7 pm with speeches by the Vice President of Peru, Mercedes Araoz, the Executive-Director of the Crop Trust, Marie Haga, and the Director-General of the International Potato Center, Barbara Wells, will give short speeches on the importance of safeguarding agrobiodiversity for the future of food.

Day 2: The Agrobiodiversity Symposium

9:30 a.m.     Registration

10:30 a.m.     Introduction by Food Forever Chair, Vice President Mercedes Araoz*

10:40 a.m.    Welcome address by Minister of Economy and Finance, Carlos Oliv (TBD)

10:50 a.m.     Keynote – Barbara Wells (CIP): An Outlook of our Global Food Systems*

11:05 a.m.    Panel 1: The main challenges for food and nutrition security

Moderator: Alberto Suárez, Radio host, Te Quiero Verde*

      • Óscar Ortiz, Deputy Director-General for Research and Development, CIP*
      • Paola Bustamante, Minister of Development and Social Inclusion*
      • Mei Xurong, Vice-President, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)*
      • Alejandro Argumedo, Director, ANDES Foundation (Parque de la Papa)*

11:35 a.m.    Coffee Break

11:45 a.m.    Keynote – Marie Haga (Crop Trust): Safeguarding crop diversity *

12:00 p.m.    Panel 2: The nutritional and resilient power of diversity

    Moderator: Rebecca Wolf, National Geographic Society*

      • Palmiro Ocampo, chef*
      • Lucía Ruiz, Minister of Environment*
      • Santiago Bucaram, Sector Specialist – Natural Resources, IADB*
      • Vasco Masias, CEO, Alimenta*

12:30 p.m.    Keynote – Jorge López-Dorica (AJE): The Natural Revolution: harnessing the power of biodiversity*

12:45 p.m.    Panel 3: Biodiversity as a driver for competitiveness and business development

    Moderator: Carlos Loret de Mola, former Vice Minister of Regional Development, PCM*

      • Monica Contreras, Vice President Foods – Andean Region, Pepsico*
      • José Koechlin, Founder, Inkaterra*
      • Gustavo Crespi, Science and Technology Specialist at the Competitiveness Division, IADB*
      • Unilever representative*

1:15 p.m.     Keynote – Carlos Añaños (Patrimonio Pikimachay): Biodiversity, food systems and regional development in Ayacucho*

1:30 p.m.    Closing remarks by the Minister of Agriculture, Fabiola Muñoz

2:00 p.m.    Lunch  

4:30 p.m.    Buses leave for the City of Cusco

Day 3: Visit to the Potato Park

On May 24 all participants will be part of a visit to the Potato Park, one of the most groundbreaking examples of in situ conservation globally. In the Park, which is roughly an hour away from Inkaterra Hotel, five indigenous communities have joined efforts to safeguard one of the most precious collections of potato diversity, containing more than 3,000 varieties in less than 9,000 hectares. Alejandro Argumedo from the ANDES Foundation, Director of the Potato Park, will guide the visit.

Participants will be transported from Cusco city at around 8 a.m., and the visit to the Park will start at 10 a.m. At noon, a small reception is planned in the Park, where guests will have a chance to taste the most delicious varieties in innovative preparations – even vodka.


Marie Haga – Executive Director, Crop Trust

Marie Haga has been Crop Trust’s Executive Director since March 2013. She was previously a member and Deputy Chair of the Crop Trust Executive Board. She also currently serves as Board Chair of the Norwegian Peace Research Institute. Ms. Haga has a background in politics and the private sector. She served as a career diplomat in the Foreign Service, and has held various positions in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs including to the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations in New York, and the Embassy in New Delhi.

Ms. Haga has extensive experience in politics. She was Secretary of State /Vice Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 1999. She was also political advisor to the Minister for Development Cooperation from 1997-1998. She served as a Member of Parliament in Norway from 2001-2009, and was Chairperson of the Centre Party from 2003-2008.

Ms. Haga has held three Ministerial positions: Minister of Cultural Affairs (1999-2000), Minister of Local Government and Regional Development (2005-2007) and Minister of Petroleum and Energy (2007-2008). She also held positions as Director for Renewable Energy in the Federation of Norwegian Industries (2009-2011) and Secretary General of the Norwegian Air Ambulance (2011-2013) – the country’s largest voluntary organization.

She has also published one novel and two books on Norwegian politics.