Renowned livestock entrepreneur Maris Llorens, from Paraguay, is awarded the title of IICA Goodwill Ambassador
San Jose, 18 January 2022 (IICA). The Swiss-Paraguayan livestock businesswoman and philanthropist, Maris Llorens, has been appointed as the new Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) on issues of Sustainable Animal Production, in recognition of her contribution to the development of innovative livestock farming and environmental preservation.
The honor was presented to her by the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, as part of the activities carried out during the inauguration ceremony for his second term (2022-2026) as head of the hemispheric organization specializing in agriculture and rurality, which featured the presence of ministers, secretaries and deputy ministers of Agriculture from the countries of the Americas, as well as high-ranking international officials linked to this sector.
Ever since she arrived in the South American country in 1986, Llorens, born in Switzerland and a naturalized Paraguayan citizen, has devoted her career to livestock activities, production processes, industrialization and commercialization in both the domestic and export markets.
“I am very honored by this distinction. I did not expect it; I hope to continue contributing to the development of Paraguay with the help of international organizations”, said Llorens, current President of the Foundation that bears her name, and which is dedicated to protecting biodiversity, the native fauna of Paraguay and the welfare of animals.
The new IICA Goodwill Ambassador is also the Director of the Zoological and Botanical Gardens of the city of Asunción. She is also the President of VIRADOLCE S.A., one of the most important livestock and genetics companies in Paraguay and South America, whose activities include meat production, genetics, and a semen and embryo collection center with state-of-the-art technology; she holds the same position on the Board of Directors of Frigoríficos Frigomerc S.A; and is a member of the Frigorífico Minerva Beef group in Brazil.
“I wish this to be a successful endeavor, and for us to come together to promote livestock and agriculture and create job opportunities, all while respecting environmental laws”, she added upon receiving the distinction.
At the ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Paraguay, Santiago Bertoni, thanked IICA on behalf of his country for appointing Llorens as the new Goodwill Ambassador, and assured that “the title is in good hands, and will be honored appropriately”.
“I would like to thank IICA for appointing Maris Llorens and recognizing her extraordinary contribution to livestock development not only nationally but also in the region. She has played a key role in the World Organisation for Animal Health, where she has advocated for the improvement of the sanitary status of Paraguay and of the entire region, and has contributed to the protection of wildlife in her country and in the world. The adequate functioning of Asunción’s National Zoo depends on her”, said Bertoni.
For his part, the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, recognized Llorens as “a great figure, who I am confident synthesizes the spirit of livestock farming in the Mercosur region”.
“Mrs. Llorens is a businesswoman who plays a major role in forums where the future of our agri-food systems is discussed. We are familiar with her outstanding work in livestock and genetics, the driving role she plays in agricultural trade, the support she gives to state health agencies in her country and her commitment to productive and environmental sustainability”, pointed out Otero.
IICA’s Goodwill Ambassadors share concerns and commitments related to the achievement of sustainable and equitable development. They are also willing to join a cause aimed at increasing public awareness and strengthening development through projects related to food security, bioeconomy, gender and youth, responsible production or climate change, which are key topics in the Institute’s agenda.
Prior recipients of this distinction include 2020 World Food Prize and Director of The Ohio State University Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, Rattan Lal; the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics and Professor at the University of Chicago, Michael Kremer; the former president and former Minister of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic, Hipólito Mejía; the Mexican senator, Beatriz Paredes; the founder of the Insud Group, psychiatrist Hugo Sigman, from Argentina; and the former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil, Alysson Paolinelli.
The list of IICA Goodwill Ambassadors goes on to include Argentine businesswoman Susana Balbo; Executive President of the National Federation of Oil Palm Growers (Fedepalma) of Colombia, Jens Mesa; Garden Pool CEO Dennis McClung; and the Executive Director of Helen’s Daughters, Keithlin Caroo, from Saint Lucia.
Institutional Communication Division of IICA.