These are some of the confirmed speakers at the conference. Please click on a name to see the bio:

Saurin built his career working with farming communities in tropical agriculture supply chains (coffee, cocoa, cotton, banana). He spent 20 years working in rural areas, learning about the crops, cultures and land use, in order to develop projects that improve farmer access to markets, finance and information. Through this work he founded Ethos Agriculture (www.ethosag.com), a team dedicated to co-designing sustainability initiatives with coffee sector stakeholders (finance, trade, research, cooperatives and NGOs).  Ethos currently supports a program promoting the next generation of coffee sustainability leaders in East Africa (in partnership with the United States Africa Development Foundation) and publishes the Coffee Barometer, which reports on the state of sustainability in the coffee sector.  Prior to Ethos, Saurin was Managing Director at the Committee on Sustainability Assessment, Vice President of Root Capital, Partnership Manager for Grameen Foundation (Uganda), General Manager of a cotton cooperative (India), Technical Adviser for USAID (Armenia) and a Peace Corps Volunteer (Panama).

Saurin is also conducting his doctoral research in the school of Transition Design at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania USA).  His research interests include:

  • Promoting agency of rural communities in the design of initiatives and supply chains  to ensure the protection of their environments, people and values
  • Examining  the relevant conditions needed to transform agriculture cooperatives into centers of innovation
  • Exploring the intersection of agroforestry, carbon-credits and sustainable coffee sourcing
  • Understanding the importance of biocultural identity and traditional ecological knowledge in the design of sustainability programs

Lars works in the GIZ Initiative on Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) in the role of an advisor on digitalization, leading the DIASCA project. Prior to joining GIZ in early 2019, he worked for the Global Coffee Platform and its predecessor, the 4C Association, in different roles for 12 years. Conceptualized and organized several pre-AFCA conference sustainability forums and access-to-finance workshops. Before entering coffee, steered and implemented several development projects, mainly in India, Indonesia and Chad.

International Sales Executive at Guarany,  Agronomist, Arabica coffee grower, GCP individual member.

Director, TSOKAS sarl

Mr. Kamungele is a coffee specialist with over 15 years in procurement, processing and trading of green coffee. He played key roles in Robusta production rehabilitation projects  in the western part  of the country. He holds a Master in Coffee Economics and Science (Ernesto Illy) from the University of Trieste in Italy.

Mr Kamungele is currently the Export Director of TSONGO KASEREKA  (TSOKAS) sarl,  a family business based iin Butembo, eastern DRC. He is also the Executive Director of the Café Africa RDC, a non-profit organization whose mission is to revitalize the Congolese Coffee Industry.

Saint Mary’s University, Canada / University of Nairobi, Kenya

(Pictures: speakers from previous conferences)