The Green Coffee Company, is a consolidated coffee farming operation based in Medellin, Colombia. The company’s innovative business model allows complete control of the supply chain: from cultivation, through processing, to direct trade with end clients.
The GCC’s holistic approach to the coffee sector and commitment to best environmental practices not only establishes the long-term profitability and sustainability of the business, but also improves the quality of the coffee produced on the farms.
We are the 4th largest coffee farming operation in Colombia. On top off this, our vertical integration of the coffee sector significantly differentiates us from most others in the country.
Many of our coffees consistently score as a specialty coffee, and the “direct trade” story with best agricultural practices is an effective selling tool maintain elevated pricing.
Abira is a specialty brand the GCC has developed to sell our high-quality coffee directly to small to mid-size roasters or regional distributors in the U.S.
The focus of the brand is to bridge the divide between Colombian coffee producers like us and roasters abroad. Abira’s unique sales channel allows our farms and partner producers to export the full breadth of their coffees directly to distributors and roasters. We help our clients build relationships at origin and farmers gain their deserved recognition.
Agrosura runs all Colombian operations for the GCC. This includes all farming activities, coffee cherry purchases, processing plant, and coffee trading within Colombia.
The company liaisons with cooperatives, as well as local and national government entities to improve the business operations. This includes locking in sales contracts for certain quality levels, engaging in social and environmental initiatives, and participating in events or conventions.
Boris Wüllner was hired at the beginning of 2020 and is serving as the new president of the Green Coffee Company. Boris has decades of experience working in the agricultural sector in Colombia, and comes to the project with proven expertise in international sales, sustainable development, and project management. Throughout his career in both the for-profit and non-profit space, he has developed invaluable relationships with coffee distributors, government officials, and logistics providers that will serve the company well as it moves into its next phase as a sophisticated coffee operation.
Boris has a wide experience in international business development, mainly developing the organizational structures, sales, and marketing of companies in the agricultural sector. Recently, he has been a consultant for the Colombian palm oil federation (Fedepalma), several different flower companies, and has been serving as Vice-dean at the engineering faculty at the Universidad de La Sabana.
Over the last 20 years, Boris has had a successful track record of results in the Agronomic industry. He has been in charge of pumping sales in Flower companies from US$ 7 Million a year to over US $ 45 Million a year. He developed direct sales to retailers, disrupting the flower supply chain in the US. In collaboration with his contacts at FedEx, he was responsible for developing direct sales of flowers from Colombia to end consumers in the US.
He is a dedicated father and husband, loves to cook and bake. And still has time for dedicating his spare time to help reconcile couples at his church
Prior to joining Lifeafar and the Green Coffee Company, Leonardo spent more than 20 years working for multinational companies like Siemens, Fox Networks Group and First Data, in a variety of industries such as services for the banking industry, media & entertainment, cosmetics, software and engineering. While working at Siemens, Leonardo spearheaded the implementation of the first electronic marketplace for the Power Generation segment of the company’s operations in Latin America, earning additional $6 million USD revenue on annually. At Fox, Leonardo led the plan to add 100,000 sqft TV-production space with 40,000 sqft ancillary facilities. This development enabled Fox to take advantage of an expanding market. His career includes tenures in Thailand and Germany.
He brings expertise in traditional finance functions such as financial management and reporting, budget management, forecasting, business intelligence, risk management, SOX Compliance, IFRS, USGAAP.
Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Leonardo earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de America, a Master’s degree in Finance from Universidad del Rosario and a Master’s degree in e-Commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Leonardo enjoys running, working out and bike riding and as a music lover he likes to attend concerts.
Linda Smithers is a coffee industry professional with over 30 years of experience spanning all parts of the supply chain. Her first entry into the coffee world was in the 1990s with when she created Susan’s Coffee & Tea, an Ohio-based, roaster-retail franchise. After a series of origin trips, Linda identified they could have the greatest impact on their bottom line by improving their sale of beans in stores. This would also help both origin producers, as well as roasters with whom she worked. She often invited producers from coffee producing countries to travel to her shops to give in-person classes on the coffee from their farms. Susan’s Coffee & Tea grew to 19 locations under Linda’s guidance.
Throughout the 90s, Linda became more involved with the Specialty Coffee Association of America, developing education programs and focusing on connecting the disparate parts of the coffee supply chain. In 1998, she became the president of the organization, and continued her focus on addressing this key issue in the coffee industry. Her experience as the SCAA president gave her an invaluable perspective on what a roasters’ needs were and how coffee producers needed to meet those needs. She also travelled and taught in 20 coffee producing countries.
Gabriel has worked extensively at the intersection of tropical agricultural systems, sustainability, and specialty product markets over the last decade. His career began in academia, conducting ethnobotanical research across Latin America. He then transitioned into the world of coffee, developing an expertise in coffee production systems through a Masters in Environmental Management with a focus on tropical agroforestry from Yale University. He has since worked with companies across the quality and volume spectrum like Stumptown Coffee, Sucafina Coffee Merchants, and Verve Coffee, to build unique coffee supply chains in 15+ countries, with values of US $20+ million per year.
Gabriel’s academic and professional experience is rooted deeply in Colombia. He conducted years of coffee research in the country and focused in on Colombian coffee supply chains for several previous buyers from the US and Europe. He has a wide range of experience in the industry, and brings a knowledge of what buyers are looking for alongside what producers need to create bridges between the two and expand markets for Colombian coffee. He has worked with producer groups and clients around the world to build mutually beneficial sustainability and investment programs. The initiatives were targeted to support the resilience of the supply chain in the face of climate change and other concerns, thus benefiting all parties involved. These programs work in conjunction with traditional buying relationships in order to address the issues of the coffee supply chain head on, while creating deeper connections across geographical and economic realities, and provide situation specific solutions for the challenges and opportunities that exist in coffee.
Gabriel will be working with GCC on aspects of the company ranging from production through sales. He will focus on developing a strong client facing operation for GCC coffees, as well as designing the internal systems and capabilities to produce and offer coffees the market is looking for. He brings his knowledge of client and producer needs, alongside an extensive and varied network of buyers and supply chain partners to support the expansion of GCC and its growth as a leading Colombian coffee supplier.
Cole currently serves as a Partner of Legacy Group, an alternative asset manager that targets profitable investment opportunities with high social and environmental impact in the U.S. to LATAM. Legacy Group’s mission is to bridge the gap between financial capital and promising investment opportunities with a hope to build a new community of investors, market-leading companies and workers that will leave behind a legacy for generations to come. Since inception in 2015, Legacy Group has successfully placed capital and provided advisory services to companies operating within the following industries: real estate & hospitality, agriculture, arts & technology, and education.
Prior to forming Legacy Group in early 2015, Cole spent the previous eight years working for a global professional services firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers) specializing in accounting, advisory and consulting solutions. During Cole’s tenure with the firm, he was stationed in the United States, Bermuda, Hong Kong SAR and Beijing, China.
While working in the United States and Bermuda, Cole primarily focused on accounting and advisory services to clients in industries spanning oil extraction and distribution, healthcare, banking, private equity, hedge funds, offshore trusts, and biotechnology. For nearly four years, Cole was located in Asia providing advisory and consulting services to clients participating in global mergers and acquisition activities. Here, Cole concentrated on the financial services and real estate sectors and spent a majority of his time advising on cross-border deals in the areas of business strategy review, business valuation, buyer and seller due diligence, tax structuring and business carve-out analysis. Cole’s deal experience has included transactions around the globe with deal sizes into the billions of USD.
Cole graduated Valedictorian from North Carolina State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, to which he earned his master’s in accounting from the same university the following year. Cole became a licensed United States Certified Public Accountant in 2008.
Marino began at GCC in May 2020, and as agronomy director, will oversee the development of the farms and processing facilities. He will also work closely with the sales team and Quality Control team in order to create consistent, high-quality coffees that match the needs of the GCC’s buyers. Marino is an agronomy engineer with an extensive career in the Colombian coffee sector. He is an industry expert, and has worked for decades to improve coffee operations at the farm, in processing, quality control management and logistics. Marino worked for 22 years at the FNC (Colombian Coffee Union). As an agronomist, he supported the agricultural development programs, the governing body used to support coffee growers around the country. He then became a director of these operations, ensuring the initiatives were carried out in accordance with the FNC’s guidelines. Marino then moved on to Expocafe, the FNC’s nationwide processing and exporting company for all of their coffees. Over his 12 years at the company, he worked as Quality Control Director, and sub-director of sales. Through his tenure, he helped identify zones in the country that were strong candidates for specialty coffee. Marino worked closely with the company’s dry mills on all aspects of product creation, milling and exporting. He also developed and implemented programs focused on sustainability and differentiated coffees.
Following his tenure with Expocafe, Marino then went on to work for Starbucks as their Agronomy Director for operations in Colombia, using the knowledge he already accrued working in the industry. Starbucks has its own certification, C.A.F.E Practices, and Marino coordinated with a wide array of coffee producers in order to implement the necessary quality and sustainability controls to allow these farmers to sell to the company. During this time, he worked closely with Starbucks’ internal sales team and the Chief Agronomy Director. Just prior to the GCC, Marino was working as the Director for Cooperativa de Caficultores de Anserma.
Taylor Love joined the Asset Manager in the late fall of 2018 after having owned and operated a boutique coffee roasting operation in Colorado. His early career began on an equity trading desk during the dot-com era and later moved into advisory roles at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. In a transition into commercial real estate, Taylor held Director-level investor relations positions at two privately-held real estate investment firms. Overseeing the capital sourcing activities, Taylor was integral in the development of several multi-million dollar office and medical-office portfolios.
Transitioning into coffee in 2013, Taylor acquired a small Diedrich roaster and began building a roasting business from the ground up. He became a SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) certified roaster and later began competing in regional and national roasting competitions, finishing in the top 15 nationally in 2017. Taylor continues to satisfy his passion for roasting coffee by judging regional and national-level SCA roasting competitions. Multiple sourcing trips to Latin America provided Taylor with an opportunity to explore the production side of coffee, which led him to Medellin and Legacy Group in 2018. Taylor continues to live in Colorado and provides a base for our operations in the U.S.
Eric Berman acts as Head of Real Estate Investments to Legacy Group, and is also the Chief Investment Officer of Lifeafar. He oversees investment strategy, including acquisitions and development primarily in the real estate space, and plays a key role in leading Lifeafar’s hospitality initiatives.
Eric has spent his career working with a diverse base of investors, owners, lenders and developers of hotel and mixed-use real estate assets. Along the way, he has advised on more than $2 billion of hotel and real estate transactions throughout the U.S. and Latin America. The experiences Eric brings will be instrumental in the continued success and global expansion of both Lifeafar and Legacy Group.
Eric joined Lifeafar in 2018 following four-plus years with Berkeley Research Group, where he helped pioneer the firm’s hospitality advisory group and expand its corporate finance efforts in Latin America. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, where he provided accounting and advisory services for clients in the financial services, banking, real estate and retail industries, focusing on companies with an aggregate of more than $180 billion in assets and over $10 billion in annual revenues. During his professional career, he has held positions in destinations including New York and Miami, as well as Colombia, Panama, and Mexico.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Eric was educated at Penn State University – Smeal College of Business, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in accounting. He has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant since 2013 and holds a certificate in hotel real estate investment and asset management from Cornell University.