Nutrition in Latin America

Nutrition in Latin America

Today, we look at nutrition in one of the world’s most promising yet challenging regions: Latin America. Our speakers explore food culture and production in Latin America, how regional poverty fosters food insecurity and hunger, and how these factors, in turn, impede economic and social development.

Joining us are Brazilian chef and social entrepreneur David Hertz, who founded Gastromotiva, the first socio-gastronomic business in Brazil promoting social inclusion; Pedro Padierna, ex-President of PepsiCo Latam and food advisor in Mexico; and Mayssa Al Midani, an Investment Manager in Pictet’s Thematic Equities team. The host is Luis Merino, a Private Banker at Pictet Wealth Management.

David Hertz is a Brazilian-born chef and social entrepreneur, David founded Gastromotiva, the first socio-gastronomic business in Brazil that promotes social inclusion and changes the lives of low-income people through the transformative power of food. Since the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, he also runs Refettorio Gastromotiva. On top of that, David promotes the Social Gastronomy Movement through his travels and the TED talks he takes part in.

Mayssa Al Midani joined Pictet Asset Management in September 2018 as an Investment Manager in the Thematic Equities team. She was previously a Portfolio Manager with the Pictet Investment Office focused on special situations across the capital structure and private equity co-investments in the consumer sector. Before joining PIO, she was an Equity Buy-Side Analyst at Pictet Wealth Management specialising in global consumer equities. She began her carreer in 2010 as an Analyst at Credit Suisse Investment Bank. Mayssa holds an MSc in Accounting & Finance from the London School of Economics and a Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA) diploma from the Swiss Financial Analysts Association. 

Pedro Padierna is Chairman of PepsiCo Mexico since July 2017. In his current role Pedro focuses on government affairs and public policy issues in Mexico, playing a mentoring role across the Latin America sector and providing leadership for key sector initiatives. Pedro was President of PepsiCo Mexico from 2011 to 2017, during which time he provided thought leadership for the integration of PepsiCo Mexico Foods and collaborated with government and nonprofit partners to deliver solutions that address the needs of the country’s consumers, customers and communities. He led a profound transformation of the business, accelerating its performance while building a great team and a solid talent bench for Mexico and LatAm. Pedro began his PepsiCo career in 1987 as Marketing and Research & Development VP at Sabritas and has held several positions since, including Commercial VP in Mexico; National Sales VP; and President of the Sabritas/CariCam, and PepsiCo Americas Foods business unit. Pedro has held several leadership positions within industry and trade associations including President of the Executive Council of Global Companies (CEEG); President and founding member of the Mexican Industry Council of Consumer Products (ConMexico), President of the International Advertising Association (IAA) and President of the Board of Trustees of the Mexican Communication Council (Consejo de la Comunicación).  In 2012, Pedro was recognized with the PepsiCo Global Steve Reinemund Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Legacy Award. He was born in Mexico City and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the Iberoamericana University in Mexico City –where he is President of the Board of Trustees-and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Tulane in New Orleans.


Luis Merino Figueroa is a Private Banker at Pictet Wealth Management. Before joining Pictet in 2017, he worked for Credit Suisse, based in Zürich. Luis brings a decade of experience in banking. He is passionate about economics, geopolitics and finance. Luis holds a Master Degree in business from IE Business School.

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