Lennart is the founder of This Side Up and has always managed producer relationships, quality control, logistics and marketing alone. Now that the team has tripled in size, he can concentrate more on empowering his producer partners to develop their product offering and communication methods directly with roasters, while building a stronger network of engaged roasting professionals worldwide.
Maarten is This Side Up's "Green Conscience", as he himself likes to say. He has been a part of This Side Up subconsciously since 2015 when he became involved in our Aranga project, and ended up inspiring the whole company's vision to promote practical and circular thinking in the coffee world. Maarten has been working closely with our farmer and roaster partners since 2017 and has now become our chief sustainability -strike that dreadful word-circularity expert.
Daily role: rolling out practical circular upgrades, developing cascara and specialty robusta
Sara is a coffee consultant and Q-grader with more experience than most in the specialty coffee world. Friends and informal quality consultant to Lennart for years, we finally made her part of the team in 2017. Her insights and strong producer connections are helping This Side Up expand to new origins and find creative ways to become a more progressive force of development for producers.
FranCO TEsoro TESS
ALL ROUND SUPPORT
Franco leads a seventh generation, Italian family-owned coffee importing company called Aziende Riunite di Caffè. An unlikely partner perhaps, Franco strongly believes in This Side Up's vision. He became, as ARC, angel investor in our value chain, consciously betting on the idea behind our company rather than its mere profitability. ARC provides us with all-round support, A to Z.
Jean de Dieu (Kevin) Nkuzimana
Kevin is director at Misozi Coffee company, the right hand and exporter of some of the best performing farmer cooperatives in Northern Rwanda. Kevin forms our link to the producers at Rushashi and Coko all year round, conducts quality and best practices checks and introduces processing innovations amongst our peers.
JUAN PABLO LAsso ARGOTE
Juan Pablo is a member of the Lasso Argote family, the producers of our Colombian microlots. He actively promotes specialty coffee as a road to better income in his village Génova, helps out other families in creating, processing and exporting specialty coffee and ultimately wishes to create a region-wide quality standard.
Half Tanzanian, half New Yorker, Rebecca was eager to set up direct trade ties for her coffee farmer relatives in Marangu - and came to Lennart in early 2014 for help. She has succeeded in making both Aranga and Marangu visible, promoting their coffees and managing our export process.
Fuadi is the founder of Beanspire, an export promotion company in Thailand, and our daily link to the Thai coffee farmers we work with. He is part of a young and new movement of specialty coffee innovators that co-exist uniquely in Thailand on both the farming and roasting side, and is poised to give Thai coffee a place in the global specialty scene.
Francisco Javier Valle Garcia
Founder of EXPOCAMO in Ocotal, Francisco dries, mills and exports processes all our partner farmers' coffee to perfection. He is somewhat revered in the region, not only for the work he does to provide quality upgrading knowledge and extra income to farmers, but also for promoting their work directly and transparently to roasters with our cooperation.
SAI WAN MAING
Sai Wan works with Mandalay Coffee Group and is an important player in the recent professionalisation of Myanmar's newly established specialty coffee industry - and of our partners at the Hopong cooperative in particular. Sara has been in regular contact with Sai Wan for the last years to make sure quality and processing upgrading proceeds according to plan.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Gilbert is one of the Kivu region's unsung heroes, bringing hope to the youngest generation of coffee farmers by providing coffee seedlings as a lucrative alternative to taking up arms or illicit trade. He is the driving force behind our partner cooperative CPNCK on the island of Idjwi and is pleased to receive emails and guests to this magical place.
In short, Adri is the main reason our Flores Robusta project with the ASNIKOM cooperative has been such a smooth operation. His company Ontosoroh is both a local green coffee representative and through our relationship, a reliable exporter of Flores coffee through Surabaya. He is responsible for coordinating the local logistics, communication with VECO and ASNIKOM and guidance of our processing upgrades and experiments.
Although Limmu Kossa is run by Giday Berhe, coordinating an Ethiopian coffee estate is a very intensive undertaking. Because of this and the language barrier, we are lucky to work with Abiy on a daily basis: the passionate representative of Limmu Kossa who so happens to live in The Hague, a short distance from our office in Amsterdam - so he is a regular sight at our office where we make new and innovative plans every harvest.