Exactly one year ago, VECO and Vredeseilanden became Rikolto, which means “harvest” in Esperanto and fits perfectly with our mission and identity. We want farmers to have a good harvest, but more especially we want to harvest great new ideas and solutions to improve our food systems.
The decision to change our brand name was not an easy one because we were already well known to the public, especially in Belgium. But as we were moving away from being a purely Belgian-governed NGO to becoming an international network organisation, the name change became part of our transition plans.
It also heralded a new phase for us. Changing our name enabled us to create a recognisable, international brand for our entire organisation. While retaining the strong foundations on which Vredeseilanden/VECO was built, it allowed us to redefine our DNA and make all members of staff and stakeholders feel connected to the revamped organisation.
“Our partners became familiar with the new name almost faster than the team itself did,” recalls Teófilo, project coordinator in Perú. “Our language has no links with Esperanto, so of course people initially called us funny names like ‘Ricotta’ or ‘Rocoto’. But it’s surprising how quickly they got used to our new identity and name.”
“Launching Rikolto meant a new connection with the organisation I had already been working for so many years,” adds Johanna, in charge of Strategic Partnerships in Ecuador. “We really needed the boost, a change that also symbolised our new way of working with colleagues and partners worldwide.”