Anton van Vilsteren

Born in 1953 and raised at an arable farm in “de Noordoostpolder” in the Netherlands. Secondary school in Emmeloord and graduated in 1978 at the Agricultural University Wageningen (Tropical Land Development, Irrigation and Drainage). During the first 9 years of his professional career he worked as an advisor in irrigation and drainage projects in Africa and S.E. Asia, particularly in Kenya (0.5 yrs.), India (2 yrs.) and Thailand (5 yrs.). In Thailand his 3 children have been born.

In 1987 his young family returned to the “Noordoostpolder”. He bought the family farm and ran it for 28 years. Besides the farm, he worked as a private consultant in development projects first in Asia and since 1991 mostly in Eastern Europe and Russia. The scope of the consultancy activities shifted from irrigation and drainage projects into agricultural development projects and the management and the international financing of such projects.

In 1999 he converted his conventional arable farm into an organic farm and vegetable production became part of the extended crop rotation as well as added value activities to become able to serve the retail markets directly. To broaden his service he started to buy organic products from his colleague producers for further processing and marketing.

In the first decade of this new century he has put quite some energy in the further development of the young organic farming sector in the Netherlands. From 2003-2006 he has been chairmen of the National Organic Farmers Association of the Netherlands. From 2007-2014 he has been chairman of Cooperative Nautilus, the only 100% organic vegetable sales cooperative of the Netherlands.

Many (inter)national study tours have visited his organic farm with its combined added value activities. This resulted also in invitations to contribute to the development of organic farming and cooperative development projects in recent years. Since 2013 he has advised farmers and cooperatives in China (5x), Nepal (4x), Ghana (4x), Myanmar (1x) and the Philipines (2x). I am also mentoring “start-up” agricultural companies in Nepal and Myanmar.

In 2011 his son has started an organic fruit farm in Colombia and hence he also contribute to this young “start-up”. As from 2017 his son is running a successful organic fruit export company. In 2015 they have transferred their farming activities to a successor, who also has requested for advice and support specially in the marketing of the organic farm products.

Mr Kyaw Hlaing

He holds the bachelor of engineering as his first degree and worked as a marine engineer until 2006. Then he is Managing Director at Thinzarkyaw Co., Ltd., which manufacturing and distributions of instant food. He started own coffee firm named Moe Htet coffee farm at Thayetkone village in Naung Cho Township, Northen Shan state. He also volunteered as Vice chairmen at Myanmar Japan Business consultant Co., Ltd., and a Myanmar mentor at Rockstart Impact Myanmar Accelerator for new set-ups in Myanmar.

Now he is leading Mandalay Coffee Group Co., Ltd which is one of leading coffee export companies in Myanmar. He has deeply involved in improving standards to Myanmar Coffee and had vast experience in contract farming with coffee farmers. Recently, his leading company received financial support for contract farming of coffee farmers to improve their output.

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Paul Paree

He earned a master degree in Finance and Investments from Erasmus University Rotterdam. He worked for UFF Agri, a leading specialist advisor in agricultural investments in Africa, providing qualified expertise in both production (farmland) and investment within this sector. He had cumulated experience in Investment screening, Financial Modeling & Analysis, Investment Structuring, Investment Performance Analysis, and Internal Business Process Management.

Now, He is an Investment Manager at Wire Group which is a leading 'Impact House' in the Netherlands with a focus on impact investments in education, research, strategy development and building & managing portfolios. He is responsible for sourcing, analyzing and due diligence of both direct and fund investments.

Since October, 2017, he is an expert mentor for Rockstart Impart which is a 100-day business support program and has been specifically designed for Myanmar entrepreneurs and their businesses. During the program, he assists Myanmar entrepreneurs to receive intensive coaching and mentoring on ways to successfully grow their business.