Having lived in several African countries for many years, Fabian has always held a special interest in the continent, in particular its economic and social development. This led him to pursue degrees in International Relations, as well as International Development. His interest in the continent never got lost and through his involvement with africrops! he has been able to pursue it further on a practical level by promoting African development through trade on eye-level and by making high-quality African products available in Western markets. At africrops! Fabian is heavily involved in running the company on a day to day basis and has taken on several marketing related tasks, such as the design of the logo and the website. He has been a member of the africrops! team since its inception in 2012.
In the summer of 2012, Heinrich told Erika about the “miracle plant” Moringa oleifera that he had come across during his time in Africa. She was immediately captivated by the unbelievable properties of the plant and stated her desire to introduce it to the American public, feeling the need for a natural, organic alternative to the abundance of chemically produced and -enhanced supplements readily available on the American market. After working out a concept for africrops! based around fair trade and organic production with Heinrich and Fabian, she began pushing the idea forward. Shortly after, in autumn 2012, she co-founded africrops! with Heinrich. Her entrepreneurial spirit and creativity has been pushing africrops! forward ever since.
Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs
Together with Erika, Heinrich founded africrops! in the autumn of 2012. He holds a phd in plant physiology, making him the science expert of the africrops! team. There are only few people in the world whose knowledge on Moringa oleifera compares to that of Dr. Heinrichs and you will be able to read more about his findings on the plant in the “Moringa facts” section of our blog. One of the guiding principles of africrops! is “cooperation on eye-level”. A strong advocate of this idea, Dr. Heinrichs, has been able to observe the importance of this during many years of working in the development sector throughout various African countries. In South Africa and Ethiopia he has helped train science teachers; In Namibia, Tanzania and Rwanda he worked together with the national education ministries to formulate national strategies to tackle the problematic AIDS situation in these countries. These strategies were far reaching, touching on various different aspects, including nutrition. At africrops! he has been able to unite both his scientific background as well as the experiences as a development worker in Africa. Together with Meinolf Kuper, he also founded africrops! in Berlin, Germany.
Mike Ryan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where he was a promising multi-sport athlete. A serious back injury put an unfortunate end to his athletic ambitions. Faced with this devastating news, Mike began a self-directed health journey, educating himself on holistic healing. It was by coincidence (or fate?) that Mike met the founders of africrops! at a vegan fair in the summer of 2014. He was immediately intrigued by the wonders of the Moringa plant and stayed in close contact with the africrops! team following the event. Based on their shared passion for Moringa, Mike and the africrops! founders quickly developed a close relationship and realizing his talents, he was instated as the Head of Sales soon after. He has been driving sales forward, in particular in the New York region, successfully ever since.
Linda Thompson transplanted from New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia, 28 years ago. After enjoying a fulfilling career as a registered nurse, Linda retired in 2002. She enjoyed many diverse roles as a nurse coordinator administering healing to her patients, encouraging and counseling many who struggled with serious health issues. Her life experiences and career overlapped frequently in her pursuit of a healthy existence for herself and her family. Thus she often found herself a pioneer making cutting edge choices that did not become mainstream until later, often merging medicine and natural health methods. Today, Linda remains active, inquisitive and strong in her faith all of which encompass healthy living with an eye to todays global and cultural issues. Recently, wanting to improve on her current vegan regimen for good health and prevention, she was excited to discover Moringa. After due diligence and personal positive results, she knew she had to share her enthusiasm for this amazing plant. Another essential component to joining the Africrops family was their commitment to the philosophy of fair trade and high standards of purity and ethics.
Economist, Development Expert
“Trade instead of aid”, the phrase which has become central to africrops!’ philosophy, was coined by Meinolf Kuper. The co-founder of africrops! Berlin has been closely connected to the African continent for over 30 years. The economist has supported and built up several social projects and companies in this time. While his main duties lie with africrops! Berlin, he plays an essential key role in establishing and maintaining close relations with our producers. He is also the founder of “made by AfriCraft“, a socially and environmentally conscious workshop, in which used materials are recycled and made into art and eco-chic utensils. You are also able to order selected AfriCraft products through africrops!.