The Ethical Tomato Company

Pedro Zaragoza, a Mexican scholar supported by the Cambridge Overseas Trust, presented the winning proposal at the McKinsey Innovate 2012 final, on behalf of his team The Ethical Tomato Company.

The team's project tackles the problems facing small-scale tomato growers in Mexico (where tomatoes are big business), including technology and re-investment limitations, and lack of advice on improving productivity. The Ethical Tomato Company addresses two main problems - productivity and wastage. 

Pedro explains "Small farmers work with a very low level of technology which results in low productivity and low incomes.  We propose to give them access to simple ways of improving their yields such as building timber-framed greenhouses and using organic compost that will enable them to improve their yields whilst protecting produce from pests and extreme weather."

The prize gives £5,000 to the winning team, and access to advice from McKinsey, which will help them take their project on to the next stage and pilot their ideas in one of the major tomato-producing areas of Mexico.

Pedro is studying for the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development, alongside his team members Garcia Moreno (Mexico), Stephanie Hirmer (Germany) and Daniel Gallagher (Scotland).

There is a longer news item on the University's website, and see the link to The Ethical Tomato Company's own press release (right).

Credit: voliwowli