Laura Natalia FERNANDEZ CEDI, 30 years old – Mexico: consultant at UNIDO

Laura Natalia Fernández Cedi came from Mexico at the age of 24 in 2011 with the firm conviction to conquer the world, or, as they say in Mexico, “to eat the world”.

After her journey through the rheometers of the Ecole Superieure d’Agriculture d’Angers, the degustations in the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza, the teamwork activities from the Marketing classes in Romania and the visits of vineyards in Rioja, Spain, Natalia finished the master with an internship in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. In UNIDO, she spent six months doing research on the synergies between quality labels and local food products and identifying the best practices in the realm of territorial marketing.

A second internship after finishing the master in 2013, this one in the Food and Environmental Laboratory of the International Atomic Energy Agency gave Natalia the opportunity to look closer into the properties of products like milk or honey to enable the identification of their geographical origin.

After her second internship, the Department of Trade Capacity Building in UNIDO offered her a contract as an International Consultant. During three and a half years she worked in projects in countries as diverse as Burundi, Tanzania, Bhutan or Maldives, supporting the laboratories and food companies to improve their quality management systems to apply and obtain internationally recognized certifications such as ISO 22000 and expand their trade opportunities.

Now, almost five years after having finished the programme, Natalia is working as a Quality Manager of an Austrian retail company, taking care of the control of food products and suppliers of the national companies in Eastern Europe. (picture at UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization)