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An expert in agricultural value chain development

Charles Keiser is the Founder and President of Tropical Agriculture Consulting where he helps to build profitable and sustainable agricultural value chains in developing countries. He has worked in both West and East Africa, Asia, and South America with special interest in start up or existing agricultural projects in developing countries

Tropical Agriculture Consulting


2015 - Present (6 years, 4 months)
Building profitable and sustainable agricultural value chains in developing countries. From greenfield startups to improving existing supply chains from field to market delivery;
Feasibility study for new port in East Africa, identifying potential customers and developing improved logistics services over current alternatives;
Greenfield banana project underway in Haiti for European Market, to be certified Fair Trade;
Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( drones) to benefit small farmers in West Africa through land use planning and precision agricultural applications;
Develop training program for Somalia banana growers to improve their skills so that banana exports from Somalia can restart;
Improvement of pineapple operations to match capacity of processing plant in Sierra Leone
African Lion Agriculture


2012 - 2015 (2 years, 11 months)
Decided on best crop mix for several thousand hectare project in Sierra Leone, based on study of value chains from sourcing thru logistics and best market;
Looked at "right to win", not only could a crop be grown in this location, and where it would be sold, but why would it be a good idea to grow this particular crop in Sierra Leone. Choose oil palm, rubber cocoa and pineapples;
British group bought the operations of the first three crops and large multinational took over operations of the pineapples with plans for more expansion
Chiquita Brands

V.P. Global Sourcing/VP Strategic Sourcing

1980 - 2012 (31 years, 12 months)
Worked with Chiquita Brands for 32 years, started as farm trainee in Panama, increased responsibilities in Philippine, Colombia, Costa Rica, and African assignments in production, quality, budgeting, fruit estimation, negotiations and division manager roles;
As VP of Global Sourcing was responsible for all of Chiquita's owned and purchased bananas (about 15% of world export volumes) and other tropical fruits including pineapples, melons and grapes;
Oversight of R&D, budgeting, forecasting, materials, HR, IT, labor management, project management, inland logistics and ports, environmental and other support departments based in the tropics, 16k associates;
As VP of strategic sourcing, identified new value chains from sourcing opportunities through improved logistics to service new and existing markets;
Continued to consult for Chiquita through 2014

Master's degree, Agricultural Economics

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Bachelors Degree, International Agriculture

Utah State University

Activities and Societies: Utah State track and Field team, graduated cum laude
Technical Agricultural courses on a variety of subjects relating to agriculture in tropical areas of the world