Juan Felipe Camacho

Juan Felipe Camacho driving a tractor at Ekoto Farm
Name: Juan Felipe Camacho 
Nationality: Ecuadorian 
Internship period: April 2022 - June 2022
University: HAS University of Applied Sciences 
Study Program: International Food and Agribusiness 
Type of internship: Work Experience Placement 
Responsible projects: Bringing herbal tea to market


“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I never fully understood that quote until I met Ivar van Dorst, founder and owner of Ekoto, he showed me with his work that to start that change you want to see in the world you need to start doing what you think is right and let that be an example and inspiration to other people.

My experience at Ekoto started at the end of April 2022 when I was beginning my work experience placement. At first, I thought that I would only learn about the Dutch agricultural system, but I learnt way more than that. As the company emerged only 2 years ago, it is quite young and it still needs to develop some things, but the fun part is that I got to see some of the changes they are going through, and it was also nice that Ivar had graduated from IFA, so we could share some experiences and our own point of view about relevant facts.

My daily activities ranged from weeding the crops to feeding the pigs. Actually, I had a lot of variety during the week, as it is an organic farm, they are not allowed to use any herbicides or chemical products. Therefore most of the activities were done by hand, that includes control of weeds for example, which was done weekly on every field using different types of tools that would help us. Nevertheless, that was not the only activity at Ekoto, we took part in processes of sowing, transplanting, and even harvesting, so it was nice to know that you were part of the food chain of some products that later on will feed a family.

Besides those daily activities, I also had a theoretical assignment, in which I had to design the label of a tea line that the company wanted to launch, for that I had to do some research on it, make sure the materials were eco-friendly, and search for the most appealing look for the package. As a conclusion, I can say that I learned very important lessons in Ekoto, not only about agriculture and the food chain, but also about how important groupwork is and how to build your business model. Definitely something I would do again!