Our start-up began with a concern about waste in circular economy approach. We looked for ways to address these opportunities at our local level, and found potential on the byproduct of our beer culture: barley.

In Nov 2019, we participated in the Accelerator 100+ challenge in Paraguay and won a $10k seed capital. Then we invested in machines, equipment, facilities, know-how, legal documentations to produce cereal bars, granolas, flour and nachos & logistics required to sell them at stores. In Oct 2020, we were proud to see our products in 30 supermarkets and retail stores, most of them open 24/7. Most of these steps were made during the lockdown.

During our rounds of radio and tv interviews, on conversations about our circular economy approach and its benefits, we were inquired about whether our packaging was made of recycled materials. That was one of the first indications of consumer and media interest in further efforts to tackle waste cycles, and we were presented with the oppo...
Our start-up began with a concern about waste in circular economy approach. We looked for ways to address these opportunities at our local level, and found potential on the byproduct of our beer culture: barley.

In Nov 2019, we participated in the Accelerator 100+ challenge in Paraguay and won a $10k seed capital. Then we invested in machines, equipment, facilities, know-how, legal documentations to produce cereal bars, granolas, flour and nachos & logistics required to sell them at stores. In Oct 2020, we were proud to see our products in 30 supermarkets and retail stores, most of them open 24/7. Most of these steps were made during the lockdown.

During our rounds of radio and tv interviews, on conversations about our circular economy approach and its benefits, we were inquired about whether our packaging was made of recycled materials. That was one of the first indications of consumer and media interest in further efforts to tackle waste cycles, and we were presented with the opportunity to innovate once more.

Rethinking entire areas of production, we identified processes in need of improvement. Our CTO was developing dehydrated banana and beet snacks that left us an abundance of leftover peels, coupled with our urgent need to change our packaging. We investigated alternative uses for fruit peels and found that they were a rich source of starch used for the production of biopolymers. We advanced to testing phase and invest in a biopolymer lab. In accordance with our circular economy approach, the upcycling of one of our residues solved our packaging challenge.

In Nov 2020, we heard of Asuncion City Resilient Challenge organized by AVINA Foundation, Resilient Cities Network, City Foundation and IADB LAB. Promoting urban resilience and economic reactivation. We participated with our Bioplastic project with the main objective to produce in mid term, our own bioplastic pack that could replaces our current packaging. Fortunately, we won one of the four prizes that included access to a $12k seed capital and a Cooperation Agreement.

The agreement is currently being implemented; we are successfully getting MVP of biopolymer. The project is expected to end on Sept 2021.

Our outputs are bimonthly shared with Procurement Department of CERVEPAR, considering potential alliances to test our biopolymer in plastic providers facilities of the brewery.

We are excited to work with 100+ Accelerator Corporate Partners and pursue together for a better world!!
More information

Advisors

Maria Magdalena Espinola Colman
Admin
Maria Magdalena Espinola Colman Chemistry Engineer, Researcher.

Employees

Javier Gamarra Oscariz
Admin
Javier Gamarra Oscariz CEO Circular economy and Open Innovation Entrepreneur and Consultant.

Recommendations

Merencena is an incredible natural food product manufacturer from Paraguay. The company has developed a production process that combines the circular economy, which is an important differential. It is a brand growing and innovating. As an advisor to the Bioplastic project, it is a scientific challenge to combine raw materials, linkers, thickeners, and preservatives of natural origin to produce bioplastics that are friendly to nature. The consequences of climate change make it necessary for us to combine knowledge with scientific rigor and efforts to disseminate circular economy solutions that can be scaled globally.

The interest in circular economy and the innovations Javier and his team are therefore implementing in the company make MERENCENA a reference in Paraguay and a model to follow all over the world. Good job.

Merencena offers a product that not only offers an alternative use to barley, but also searches for new ways to take care of the environment.

I love the brand and the people behind it, they show us that a circular economy is possible, if more brands do the same, we'll be closer to a better tomorrow

It's really inspiring to see the work Javier and his team have been doing in the last couple of years. They are true innovators in the food industry in Paraguay, showing the big players how putting sustainability at the core can benefit all stakeholders. I’m really excited about what the future brings to Merencena!