Vision

Living soils,
thriving farms,
honest products.

Grounded Vision

Mission

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

Grounded's Mission

Values

Adaptability

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.

Honesty

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

Courage

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

Humility

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.

Openness

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

Fairness

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

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Origins

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 inevitably. 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

Team

Thekla Teunis

Thekla
Teunis

South Africa

Founder and director

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

Gijs
Boers

Netherlands

Founder and director

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

Dani Petersen

Danielle
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.

Alicia Dean

Alicia
Dean

South Africa

People management

Alicia is passionate about developing people and efficient processes within organisations. She has experience across multiple industries and is responsible for building Grounded’s scalable human resources function.

Susan Dreyer

Susan
Dreyer

South Africa

Logistics

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.

Nikki Greyling Johnson

Nikki
Greyling Johnson

South Africa

Product development and OpCo management

Nikki set up her own regenerative agri-business and gained development experience from a global agricultural company, giving her exceptional skills in regenerative agri-business . She assists landscapes with strategic management and product development.

Renee Engelsman

Renée
Engelsman

Netherlands

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

Stephie
Mendelsohn

South Africa

New business development

Drawing from experience working across Southern and Eastern Africa and her passion for understanding and improving ecological and socio-economic systems, Stephie coordinates new business development and supports the strategy in Zambia.

Cerifino Cenizo

Ceferino
Cenizo

South Africa

OpCo management

Passionate about agriculture and its transformative potential, Ceferino’s solid background in marketing and biodynamic farming helps him develop resilient agricultural value chains in the Zambian landscape.

Cindy van Kester

Cindy
van Kester

Netherlands

Marketing and sales – international

With a background in consumer marketing and multinational experience at Unilever, Cindy is fascinated by people and their behavior. She is responsible for mapping markets and developing the marketing strategy for all natural products from the landscapes.

Elzanne Singels

Elzanne
Singels

South Africa

Marketing and sales – South Africa

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. She is also responsible for co-management of the Langkloof Honeybush Company.

Theresa Wigley

Theresa
Wigley

South Africa

Visual storyteller

A powerful visual storyteller with a knack for distilling complex information into compelling but simple content, Theresa builds information that shares and expands the Grounded story.

Operating Companies Management

Langkloof Honeybush Company

Evert Greeff

Evert
Greeff

South Africa

Operational manager

Evert manages the operations of the Langkloof Honeybush Company and is based in Kareedow, in the Langkloof.

Cleston van der Rost

Cleston
van der Rost

South Africa

Nursery management

Backed by a decade of experience working in the honeybush industry, Cleston is co-manager of the seedling nursery in the Langkloof. He continues to innovate techniques to produce the best quality seedlings.

Denovan Matick

Denovan
Matick

South Africa

Nursery management

Novan got excited about honeybush early on in life, and now has ten years experience in the industry. As co-manager of the seedling nursery, he continues to refine the growing processes, while taking a keen interest in the crop’s business potential.

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

Malcolm Duncan

Malcolm
Duncan

Zambia

General manager

Malcolm is a horticultural agronomist with over twenty years of local experience in crop cultivation and farm and operations management. He serves as General Manager for the Simalaha I.F.C. in Zambia.

Jeff Mwale

Jeff
Mwale

Zambia

Administrative coordinator

With a background in accountancy, financial administration and due diligence, Jeff is the Administrative Coordinator and responsible for all administrative, data collection, financial and compliance processes and requirements for the Simalaha I.F.C.

Mapenzi Muunga

Mapenzi
Muunga

Zambia

Farm coordinator

Trained in agriculture and social work, Mapenzi is the Farm Coordinator for the Simalaha I.F.C. and will be coordinating, liaising with and supporting all the farmers that are part of the company.

Supervisory Board

The role of the supervisory board is to ensure Grounded’s strategy contributes to its social mission, and to assist management with strategic advice.

Richard
Davies

South Africa

Richard has vast experience in business development around wildlife conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. His clients include governments, businesses and NGOs, like the Peace Parks Foundation.

Bas
Hochstenbach

South Africa

After a career in strategy consulting, Bas founded the tourism company Asilia Africa, connecting business, conservation and social impact.

Manon
Klein

Netherlands

Manon is Director of the supervisory board. For over a decade she has worked for Stichting Doen providing funds to social companies. Currently, she heads the accelerator programs at the Amsterdam Impact Hub.

Plant Section Separator

Vacancies

Our Organisational Goals

Our Organisational Goals

1.

Becoming a strong and dynamic support organization for farmers to produce high-quality regenerative agricultural products in a system where the risks and rewards are fairly distributed across the value chain.

Our Organisational Goals

2.

Becoming a go-to point for high-quality regenerative ingredients that are 100% traceable.

Our Organisational Goals

3.

Being a great organization and a fun place to work. Staying adventurous and sharing the burdens and joys of this journey with our partners.

Want to join our team?

View vacancies