David G. Sewell, B.Sc., MBA – Founder and Managing Director
Mr. Sewell (66), a Canadian citizen, is Managing Director of The Belize Cacao Consortium. He is also the Founder of International Coffee Farms in Panama and Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Offshore To Freedom, located in Boquete and David, Panama.
Well-educated and well-traveled, David served for 12 years, from 1968 to 1980, as an active seagoing Officer (Bridge Watchkeeper, Navigator, Surface/Air Destroyer Weapons Officer) in the Royal Canadian Navy.
He holds an MBA in corporate finance from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (1980) and a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Saskatchewan – Saskatoon (1972). In addition, David is an Honors graduate of the Canadian Securities Institute Registered Representative (Stockbroker) Course (1980) and the Saskatchewan Real Estate Board (Realtor) Licensing Course (1984).
With an extensive business background in private equity, venture capital and offshore private wealth management, David’s attention is focused on offshore hard assets in Latin America that offer real growth potential, with a sustainable income, and turnkey management in-place. David strongly believes in the future of “specialty” agriculture as one of the most likely asset classes to realize spectacular investment gains over the next 20 years.
David is actively engaged in the specialty coffee industry in Boquete, located 40 minutes north of the city of David, in the province of Chiriqui, Panama. Through International Coffee Farms (ICFC) (www.internationalcoffeefarms.com) David and his very experienced ICFC team of local experts (see below) currently operate 9 specialty-coffee farms in the Boquete area.
In August 2012, David was instrumental in the development of the specialty-coffee farm parcel ownership business model currently in use by ICFC. Since that time, with Darren Doyle’s assistance from April 2013, as of December 2016 they have placed about 820-0.5 acre farm parcels with about 320 Owners.
David has expert knowledge in a number of offshore financial services programs, focused on Latin America. He provides advice to coffee and cacao farm parcel Owners on a full range of offshore asset protection products and structures including Trusts, Foundations, LLC’s, IBC’s, Self–Directed IRA accounts, 2nd passports, offshore permanent residency visas and offshore banking.
He and his wife Debra (and their 2 cats) have successfully lived offshore in Panama since June 2007 and can share their personal experiences gained throughout the country. David has also lived and done business offshore in Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina since he left Canada in 1989 looking for warmer weather and lower taxes! He enjoys a family of 3 children and 8 grandkids.
Darren Doyle - Co -Founder & VP Sales and Marketing
Mr. Doyle is VP of Sales and Marketing for The Belize Cacao Consortium. He is also the Co-Founder of International Coffee Farms located in Boquete, Panama.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland Darren (36) has lived and worked offshore starting at the ripe old age of 20. He arrived in Panama in 2012 and has lived there ever since.
Prior to that he spent years working overseas in Australia, Holland, France, SE Asia, the Middle East and in the US.
As Co-founder of International Coffee Farms, and in his role as VP of Sales & Marketing, Darren has successfully helped hundreds of people who are looking to “internationalize” some of their current portfolio. Operating out of Panama City he was instrumental in building ICFC as well as marketing and selling out all 9 of their specialty coffee farms to date.
With his focus on offshore real hard assets combined with a strong desire to provide his clients an opportunity for sustainable long-term passive offshore income, with turnkey management in-place, Darren is pleased to introduce The Belize Cacao Consortium and our cacao farm parcel ownership opportunity.
Now, in combination with RE/MAX Offshore To Freedom, he is helping clients from all over the world to add Panamanian and Belizean real estate to their offshore portfolios. Acting as an “Offshore Concierge” Darren advises on a variety of asset protection products and structures including Self-Directed IRA accounts and offshore bank accounts, as well as helping numerous people obtain permanent residency visas in Panama.
Many of our clients are looking to take that big step offshore. Darren has 16 years’ experience setting up a life for himself in foreign countries, often with different languages and all the challenges that go with it. He is available to help talk our clients through the process.
Luis Armando Choco - Executive Chocolate Maker
Armando (33) is the Executive Chocolate Maker at Mahogany Chocolate, a Belize Cacao Consortium affiliate. He is also responsible for the Consortium’s sales, marketing and distribution of speciality cacao and chocolate products for the local and international market. Armando is actively involved in increasing the profile of Belize’s speciality cacao by engaging chocolate makers, chocolatiers, local stakeholders and investors to expand their functions and business niches. He has identified numerous speciality markets for Belize Cacao.
He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Galen University, Belize and has obtained several course certificates in cacao production, agribusiness, agriculture and project development from institutions in Central America.
With 15 years’ experience in cacao production, marketing, project development and project management; Armando has contributed to improving the technical capacity of cacao growers in Belize. He has also been instrumental in obtaining Organic and Fairtrade certifications and facilitating 4 developmental projects for cacao growers in Belize including the Maya House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum. He has maintained close working relationships with gourmet bean to bar processors and traders in North America and Europe.
Armando’s passion for the cacao industry has expanded to “the art of” making gourmet chocolate from speciality beans. He is always paying keen attention to quality and flavour profiles of the cacao beans produced at Belize Cacao Consortium farms and collected from our participating growers by Belize Cacao Traders.
When Armando is not at our Mahogany Chocolate state-of-the-art factory on Ambergris Caye making chocolate, monitoring the progress of our cacao at our centralized fermenting and drying depot, or promoting the Belize Cacao Consortium and the Belize cacao industry, he and his family of 3 are busy in his small home kitchen in Punta Gorda developing amazing truffle and chocolate recipes.
Gabriel Pop - Executive Director for the Na'Lu'um Cacao Institute
My name is Gabriel Pop, farmer, and friend to hundreds of cacao farmers across Southern Belize.
As the founding Executive Director of Na’Lu’um Cacao Institute, I am privileged to have the opportunity to work alongside my fellow Maya farmers, to encourage and to help them to increase the production and quality of their organic cacao in harmony with our natural environment, and empowering farmers to improve their livelihoods through meaningful market access.
A sustainable cacao industry which benefits smallholder farmers, their communities, and the environment; achieved through education and responsible farming.
During my ten years of working in the cacao industry, I have recently seen a spike of interest from many farmers to grow cacao in agroforestry systems, rather than continue with environmentally harmful crops such as rice, corn and citrus. We are fortunate in Belize to have abundant land available for small farmers to expand exponentially on the current average farm size of 3 acres.
For farmers to be successful in farming cacao agroforestry however, there are dramatic improvements we need to make in farm maintenance, pruning, and productivity; including the better understanding of our native cacao genetics.
Na’Lu’um means “Mother Earth” in Mopan Maya. I believe farming cacao as our ancestors have done for centuries, let’s us respect our Mother Earth. We must make sure our families and communities prosper through this work, and that is what the Na’La’um Cacao Institute is all about.
The Na’Lu’um Cacao Institute recently joined forces with the Belize Cacao Consortium (BCC). BCC’s business objectives are aligned with our own to help train and educate Toledo cacao farmers to produce better quality and a larger quantity of fine flavor/organic Belizean cacao.
As a joint project, we have completed a new nursery which now contains 120,000 saplings, many of which will be provided to our members so they can fully plant their farms.
Together, BCC and Na’Lu’um will improve the cacao industry in Belize and the lives of our cacao farmers.
I hope you will join me in supporting the Maya cacao farmers of Belize.