Volker Schmidt had already been dealing with exotic fruits throughout his study of Tropical Agriculture in Witzenhausen, Germany. Afterwards, the multilingual agricultural engineer went to Italy and gained a lot of practical experience in a cooperative society and later as a seller in organic agriculture there. As operations manager, he was tasked with building up the Italian BioTropic office. In 2001, a BioTropic office was opened in the Dominican Republic in order to allow us to communicate more directly with the producers. When asked whether he would like to lead the office, Volker Schmidt said yes; the challenge really appealed to him.
The Dominican cooperative Milagros, which cultivates organic bananas, came into being as part of a PPP programme from 2007 to 2009. There, he checks the cultivation and condition of the plantation, organises required certifications, and plans harvests, packaging and logistics of the fruits as well as further transport to Europe.
Furthermore, Volker Schmidt is in intensive contact with producers in Central and South America on site, whom he visits during regular audits. He says, “Everything to do with tropical fruits is my speciality.”
More than 20 members of staff are employed in the Dominican export office along with Volker.
They are responsible for bookkeeping, monitoring, quality assurance and more.
Operations manager Dominican Republic:
T +1 809 853 28 01
F +1 809 572 74 25