We fly to Brasilia to meet Mauricio Borges, the president of Brazil’s trade promotion agency Apex-Brasil. This facilitating organization works in over 80 sectors including food. Its main objective is to project Brazilian companies onto the global market.
We land in the early afternoon and hail a taxi in front of the terminal building. “Boa tarde,” I say, “Apex-Brasil headquarters. But via the scenic route please.”
The taxi makes its way towards the city centre through smooth traffic. I pull out my iPad to look at my notes on Mauricio. “Did you know he’s been working for Apex-Brasil since the organization’s founding?” I ask Maarten who has taken out his camera.
“Apex-Brasil is active in 50 different countries around the world,” I continue. “It works under the motto ‘Brazil in the world: innovative, sustainable and competitive’.”
As I get no response from Maarten, I look over and see he’s totally focused on taking photos of the Panteao da Patria, a national monument designed by the world-famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, who also designed most of the rest of this city.
“Brasilia is an architectural paradise,” says Maarten as he turns his camera on the National congress building that overlooks the city.
“And there it is,” I say pointing in the other direction: “Brasilia’s cathedral! Built in 1958 with its signature hyperboloid shape…”
Maarten snaps a few shots before the driver turns left and stops in front of a modern office building. “Here you are,” he says, “Apex-Brasil headquarters.”
Ten minutes later, we’re sitting at a large oval table with Mauricio, sipping a cafezinho and learning about Apex-Brasil.
“Brazil incorporates all cultures,” says Mauricio, “and this cultural mix generates creative solutions. We didn’t invent football, but we make it better. The same goes for food: we want to use our amazing biodiversity to create products that provide a new level of food indulgence.
Brazilians combine creativity with emotions from the heart and this is how we create new flavours.”
“Is that why you support the Seleçao Brasileira de Alimentos?”
“Yes,” he says. “I am very impressed by Enivrance and their work on food design and innovation worldwide. Our main task here at Apex-Brasil is to portray Brazil as we want it to be seen and I believe this project can help us reach the next level.”
“To go further,” Mauricio says. “To the next frontier. That may sound a bit presumptuous, but that’s how I see Brazil’s role in the future. Leading the global food industry to the next frontier.”
“It doesn’t sound presumptuous,” I say. “But it does sound ambitious.”
“True”, says Mauricio with a smile, “but if there is one country in the world that can do it, it’s Brazil.”
Apex-Brasil – Seleçao Brasileira de Alimentos