Professional Journalists

<strong>Dario Bard</strong>
Dario BardGlobal Reporter

Dario covers specialty crops and orphan markets for International Food Trader. His weekly updates focus primarily on the North and South American popcorn, sunflower and dried fruit markets, with occasional reports covering the Australian and European markets.

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Born in La Plata, Argentina, Dario lived most of his life in the U.S., having grown up on Long Island, New York, and worked for 10 years in Washington, D.C for several government agencies and NGOs. His professional experience includes public relations, speech writing, marketing, editing and translating (Spanish into English). He is bi-lingual (English and Spanish), with English as his first language.

Dario’s personal interests include literature (see his blog, Contemporary Argentine Writers), bicycling, archery, guitar playing, NFL football (Go Pack!) and Argentine soccer. He presently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with his wife, Cristina.

<strong>Charlie Higgins</strong>
Charlie HigginsGlobal Reporter

Charlie is a journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.

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Originally from the New York City area, he moved to Argentina in 2008 with the plan of teaching English for a year. He eventually made Buenos Aires his home and decided to stay indefinitely. He has traveled extensively in South America, and speaks Spanish (fluent) and Portuguese (intermediate). He is currently studying at the Universidad Católica de Argentina to become a certified legal translator.

Charlie has a Bachelors of Arts in English and a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. He joined International Food Trader in January 2013 during its developmental phase and continues to be an active contributor.

<strong>Roman Kutnowski</strong>
Roman KutnowskiGlobal Reporter

Roman is a cross-media journalist trilingual in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, specialized in the creation of content for print, web and digital video. In addition to global reporting, Roman is the web curator for goIFT’s Market Flash news section and social media manager.

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Roman is completing a M.A. in Journalism and Documentary. He has a B.Sc. in Communication Specialized in Journalism at Universidad de Buenos Aires.

He has worked with key players in the recording and entertainment industry in the USA and Argentina, introducing communication strategies that focus on digital resources to generate non-traditional revenue streams. Today, his main professional goal is to work in the development of interactive communication models, which integrate digital resources, create value, and make information easily accessible with sharing as a discovery tool.

Roman enjoys literature, music, movies, soccer, and running.

<strong>Zeynep Çermen</strong>
Zeynep ÇermenTurkey Reporter

Zeynep Cermen is a professional research journalist based in Istanbul, Turkey. She was born in 1966 in Ankara and graduated from Middle East Technical University, Sociology Department. She received her master degree from Ankara University, Faculty of Communication. Zeynep contributes content and research on speciality crops in Turkey.

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She started her journalism career with Turkish Radio and Television as a foreign news reporter and then she specialized in Eurovision News Coordination. She worked as an instructor in Bilkent University in Ankara at the Applied School of Technology and Management, Department of Business Information Management. Afterward Zeynep continue her career in Istanbu, working as an educational consultant and a freelance news producer in Reuters, and later worked with ACT World TV as a head of news department.

Currently Zeynep works for the Chinese News Agency, Xinhua as a freelance news producer and she is responsible from offering and covering exclusive news stories with exclusive interviews from Turkey.

Zeynep is a licensed advanced open water scuba diver and also certified in martial arts, specialized in Wing Tzun.

<strong>Mekonnen T. Tollera</strong>
Mekonnen T. TolleraEthiopia Reporter

Mekonnen is a professional journalist and researcher based in Ethiopia. He has over 8 years of professional experience with radio, prime time TV program placement, price negotiating, and publishing. Mekonnen contributes content and research to International Food Trader on the Ethiopian pulse market.

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Mekonnen received his Bachelors and Masters degree in English at the Addis Ababa University. His professional experience includes a long history of working in journalism and media as a producer for an English TV and radio program, reporter for ”Ethiopia Today“, reporter and assistant editor for ”Focus on Women”, editor at the Ethiopian Herald Newspaper, and English teacher to the community.

Since 2012, Mekonnen has been working as a media consultant for Alive and Thrive at the Ethiopia Press Agency (Herald Newspaper). He is responsible for radio and TV program placement, purchasing, and price negotiations for primetime broadcasting. Mekonnen oversees the quality of radio program production and recommends better media interventions to ensure the promotion of excellent child nutrition practices. Currently he is preparing a Climate Change Adaptation Reporting Guide for UNICEF.

Previously, Mekonnen was the News Editor at the Ethiopian Herald Newspaper. He ensured the standards and quality of language, designs of the news pages, and assisted junior reports to edit and coordinate in the newsroom.

<strong>Daphne Khin Swe Swe Aye</strong>
Daphne Khin Swe Swe AyeMyanmar Consultant

Daphne is an Agricultural Specialist based in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). Previously she worked as an Agricultural Specialist for the U.S. Embassy in Yangon. Currently Daphne is very active working as a market consultant for The World Bank, International Poultry Development Program, and a local journalist and consultant for International Food Trader.

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Daphne conducted briefings on agricultural situation within Myanmar. She wrote analytic reports on agricultural developments in Myanmar for the U.S. Agricultural Counsellor, stationed in Bangkok. This involved independently collecting and critically analyzing information and data from both the government and private sector. Analyzed daily press publications for items of interest to Agricultural Counsellor and to the Economic Office of the U.S. Embassy, Yangon. With only limited official data published, developed and maintained an extensive network of both government and private contacts at all levels.

Guest Writers

<strong>Aswin Dorairaj</strong>
Aswin DorairajLogistics & Supply Chain

Aswin contributes Logistics and Supply Chain related content as a guest writer for International Food Trader. Armed with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from India and a Master’s in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Cranfield University in the UK, he is a freelance writer and Supply Chain Consultant looking to making a career combining both these passions.

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Born in Coimbatore, India, Aswin spent his childhood growing up in Singapore and moved back to India and pursued his education. He dabbled in Freelance writing and event management while studying for his Bachelors. Previously Aswin started his career with a Start-up Automotive Distributorship managing the Operations and Marketing. His interest in Supply Chain Management led him to leave the start-up and pursue his masters.

His personal interests include writing and photography and more recently learning new languages. Being a major film buff only helps his cause. A sports enthusiast, he is a regular marathon runner and aims to complete a full marathon in 2014.

<strong>Alyssa Mistelbacher</strong>
Alyssa MistelbacherMarket Analyst

Alyssa contributes monthly market analysis on Canada’s pulse industry as a guest writer and expert market analyst for International Food Trader. She attended the University of Manitoba where she obtained a B.Sc. in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics. Alyssa is a full-time Market Analyst for FarmLink Marketing Solutions, focusing primarily on specialty crops.

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Alyssa Mistelbacher was raised on a farm in Prairie Grove, Manitoba and has had a true passion for agriculture since she was young. When she’s not giving market outlooks or sitting at the trading desk, Alyssa enjoys playing basketball and spending time volunteering at Richot Senior Services.

Alyssa currently resides in Prairie Grove, Manitoba.

FarmLink Marketing Solutions is the premier source of expert grain marketing advice and consulting in Western Canada. We provide analytical expertise, tailored planning, and comprehensive sales advice for grains, oilseeds, pulses and specialty crops.

<strong>Marcelo Lüders</strong>
Marcelo LüdersBroker & Market Analyst

Marcelo contributes bi-monthly market analysis on Brazil’s pulse industry as a guest writer and expert market analyst for International Food Trader. Marcelo Lüders is a managing director and broker at Correpar, an agribusiness brokerage and consulting firm based in Curitiba, Brazil.

Company Contributors

<strong>Olega S.A.</strong>
Olega S.A.Data Contributor

Olega S.A. contributes current pricing data on Argentina’s pulse crops as a sponsor contributor for International Food Trader. Nicolás Karnoubi is a Manager at Olega and actively provides market information to IFT.

<strong>Al Haq Impex</strong>
Al Haq ImpexData/Article Contributor

Al Haq Impex contributes current pricing data on Pakistan’s pulse crops as a sponsor contributor for International Food Trader. Danial Ahmed is CEO & trader at Al Haq Impex and contributes monthly updates to IFT.

<strong>Argencrop</strong>
ArgencropData Contributor

Argencrop S.A. contributes current pricing data on Argentina’s pulse crops as a sponsor contributor for International Food Trader. Rita Villafañe is a Trade Manager at Agrencrops S.A. and actively provides market information to IFT.

<strong>Bespoke Group</strong>, LLC
Bespoke Group, LLCArticle Contributor

Divyesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Bespoke Group LLC, a global leader in pulse crop exports based in Dallas, Texas. He contributes update articles to IFT. One of Patel’s goals is to make a difference in the world we live in by contributing in a number of ways, especially through entrepreneurship.

<strong>Las Martinetas</strong>
Las MartinetasArticle Contributor

Based in Tucuman, Argentina, Las Martinetas focuses on the processing, marketing and distribution of dry beans, chickpeas, lentils, dry peas, confectionery sunflower, popcorn, and other specialty crops. The company aims to build long lasting business relationships and takes pride on its deep commitment to develop the right solution with its customers. Eduardo Turbay actively provides market commentary to IFT and participates in news articles.