Living soils,
thriving farms,
honest products.

Grounded Vision


To support farmers in their transition towards regenerative agriculture, and help buyers access high-quality, ethical products.

Grounded's Mission



We’re flexible. Every landscape and every farmer is different, so every approach is tailor-made. We’re constantly tweaking and adjusting as we go.


We build trusting partnerships. All our relationships are grounded in transparency and mutual-respect.


We’re adventurous. We’re not afraid to try things that have not been tried before, or go where others fear to tread.


We know we don’t have all the answers. We depend on the insight and cooperation of our partners to create the best solutions possible.


We’re in this together. We are receptive to new ideas, and we share what we learn so others can profit from our experience.


We seek balance and equity. All our partners must feel justly served.

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While cycling through China and Southeast Asia, Thekla Teunis was struck by the erratic state of agricultural lands in one of Earth’s most fertile regions. Some were vibrant and thriving and existing in harmony with nature, while others were taxed and over-utilized, leaching from the ecosystem at large. After weeks of witnessing this contrast, it was clear that deterioration was a choice – not an inevitability. In 2014 Thekla teamed up with Commonland, an organization dedicated to the large-scale restoration of degraded landscapes. The following year, Thekla met Gijs Boers in Zambia. A passionate advocate of regenerative farming, Gijs had spent the previous three years traveling the world to work with farmers and study best practices. With a shared vision for sustainable agriculture and a kindred spirit of adventure, the two teamed up to help farmers restore their soils, hoping this would also promote fairer economies and more robust food systems. Grounded was born.

Grounded's Origins


The way traditional agricultural value chains are organised too often leads to impoverished farmers and degraded landscapes. Grounded was established to build a different system, one to regenerate the land and reward producers fairly. Where do we start? In the middle. Grounded partners with agri-processing companies. These companies are a pivotal leverage point in the food system, perfectly positioned in the value chain, and with the economic heft to generate tangible impact on the ground. Read more about our impact in our latest impact report.


Thekla Teunis



Managing Partner

Passionate about building sustainable farming interventions that are reinforced with for-profit principles, Thekla’s background in strategy consulting equipped her to guide Grounded’s practical method and vision.

Gijs Boers



Managing Partner

With a strong financial background and a pragmatic, pioneering temperament, Gijs drives the team with business development, modeling and structuring investments.

Dani Petersen


South Africa

Financial Management

A background in auditing and a passion for numbers, Dani adeptly supports all our subsidiaries as well as the Grounded group with financial projections and management.

Renee Engelsman


New Business Development

With a background in management and strategy consulting, and international experience in agricultural value chain optimisation, Renee supports the Grounded team with organisational direction and spearheads new initiatives in East Africa.

Steph Mendelsohn


South Africa

Head of Impact & Business Developer

Drawing from experience working across Southern and Eastern Africa and her passion for understanding and improving ecological and socio-economic systems, Stephie drives Grounded’s impact outcomes, coordinates Grounded’s regenerative agriculture support function and supports new business development.


Company Manager – Trianon

Given his experience in financial investments, Eric brings a unique perspective to Grounded. His passion for international business, entrepreneurship and regenerative agriculture positions him well to to support the Trianon Group.

Gail Malcomess


South Africa

Head of Legal & Business Developer

With a strong legal and strategic background in impact investments and development, Gail supports the Grounded group with legal structures, challenges and negotiations.

Daniel Fourie


South Africa

Regenerative Agriculture Specialist & Company Manager – The Langkloof Honeybush Company

With a background in biochemistry and microbiology, Daniel is Grounded’s soil quality expert. He works closely with the teams and farmers in the landscapes to develop ways to implement regenerative agriculture. Daniel also manages the Langkloof Honeybush Company.

Michelle Awuor


Regenerative Agriculture Specialist – East Africa

Michelle is passionate about soil, has a background in integrated soil fertility management and many years of experience providing technical agronomy support. Michelle works closely with the teams and farmers from our Operating Companies to develop ways to implement regenerative agriculture.

John Huckle


South Africa

Bookkeeper & Financial Administrator

A background in bookkeeping, financial administration and fundraising assistance, serious attention to detail and a love of numbers, John is well-placed to support our finance team across the Grounded group.

Susan Dreyer


South Africa


Specializing in exports and imports, Susan is a logistics magician. She is responsible for arranging shipments from the landscapes to destinations, according to buyers’ requirements.

Glenda Kayster


South Africa

People Management

With a strong background in labor relations and capacity development, Glenda brings her expertise to Grounded as our HR specialist. Her primary focus is to ensure that every individual within our company thrives in their respective roles and spaces.

Operating Companies Management

Grounded Ingredients

Elzanne Singels


South Africa

Sourcing Director

Elzanne’s heart lies with local, natural ingredients. With a PhD in the prehistoric use of indigenous plants, she offers insight into the environmentally sustainable cultivation and production of indigenous plant extracts. Elzanne manages all things related to Grounded Ingredients on the African continent.

Jenny Willis


South Africa

Sourcing Manager

Jenny is an avid marketer, communicator and a food systems specialist, with a particular passion for agrobiodiversity, underutilised species and the use of traditional ecological knowledge. Jenny is responsible for the supplier-relationships at Grounded Ingredients.

Jochum Beetsma



Commercial Director

Passionate about contributing to a sustainable and fair food sector, Jochum draws on his management and strategy consulting experience (and multiple business and public policy qualifications) to drive the commercial side of Grounded Ingredients.

Siphe Dlikilili


South Africa

Quality Control Coordinator

As an experienced food scientist with expertise in food quality, systems implementation and maintaining food safety standards in the tea Industry, Siphe coordinates all things related to quality.

Operating Companies Management

The Honeybush Company

Donovan Brunette


South Africa

Managing Director

With 15 years in the Langkloof and 12 in honeybush, Donovan is absolutely passionate about developing the honeybush industry and preserving the precious landscape in which it grows naturally. A devoted family man, he leads a team he considers extended family.

Martinette Brunette


South Africa

Office Manager

Leveraging her 22 years of experience as a business owner, Maritnette oversees supplier relations, staff, and administrative tasks. Her passion for indigenous wellness and preserving African heritage shines through her dedication to promoting honeybush tea’s unique qualities.

Jo-Anne Fourie


South Africa

Sales and Marketing Manager

Drawing on her background in food sector sales, marketing & administration, Jo-Anne is instrumental in driving local and international sales. Her ability to connect with customers and understand their needs is key to building lasting partnerships worldwide.

Liesl Joubert


South Africa

Food Safety & Quality Manager

With a deep commitment to food safety, Liesl meticulously establishes and implements food safety and quality systems that adhere to international standards.

Simalaha I.F.C. (Incubator Farm Company)

Derrick Mwiinga




With almost a decade of leadership experience in the Agriculture industry, Derrick is CEO for the Simalaha I.F.C. Derrick is responsible for directing and managing the I.F.C’s business activities, developing and implementing effective strategies and programs.

Mapenzi Muunga



Farm Manager

Trained in agriculture and social work, Muunga is the Farm Manager for the Simalaha I.F.C. He coordinates, liaises with and supports all the farmers that are part of the company, manages inputs and production, and supports with the sale of fresh produce.

Nakamwi Manze



Business Manager

Trained in agribusiness management & cooperative development, Nakamwi is the Business Manager for the Simalaha I.F.C. She is responsible for company administration, HR, and a range of processes to ensure smooth internal operations and farmer support.

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Want to join our team?