Héctor Marcelli Esquivel
Fellow Since 1999
This profile was prepared when Héctor Marcelli Esquivel was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Hector Marcelli understands that the key to economic advancement for small producers is finding markets for their wares, creating distribution channels, and establishing brand recognition. Since 1983, when he founded Ecosolar, an organization dedicated to fomenting economic activity in rural Oaxaca state, Hector has had extensive interaction with producer organizations, the citizen groups which provide them with technical assistance, the socially-responsible business entrepreneurs who invest in their efforts, and the international markets to which their products require greater access. He is convinced that there is a tremendous wealth of experience and opportunity in existing efforts to market organic produce, eco-tourism projects and local handicrafts, but that current relationships between producers, technical facilitators, investors and consumers are too disorganized to take full advantage of the openings.As a result,Hector is creating Bioplaneta, an ambicious network designed to capitalize on the underlying vibrancy of Mexico's small producers and maximize the benefits available to them through participation in broader national and international markets. Hector has already formed a team of leading experts in production, technical assistance and marketing who, like him, have experience in commercialization of ecological, organic and indigenous goods. Through expeditious use of a computer database and an extensive communications strategy, Bioplaneta will research and link all the disparate actors in the production-consumption chain so as to harmonize the process of marketing "fair trade" products, while at the same time creating a recognized brand name and quality certification process. Bioplaneta does not seek to be another "middleman," getting rich on sales commissions - it is quite literally an association of producers, technical assistance providers and investors who participate on an equal footing in the network. The Bioplaneta team is also considering setting up a distinct for-profit company, with the same "shareholders," to actually market the produce as the volume increases.