About us.

I’m Damian. Originally from New Zealand, and now based in Amsterdam. I began my coffee journey six years ago, shortly after I moved to the Netherlands. I worked with Maarten van Keulen on the concept of the Circular Coffee Collective, which later became part of This Side Up Coffees. Check out the website, as you can also read more about some of the rest of the people involved in making The Other Half a reality.

While we worked on the concept of the Circular Coffee Collective, we also spent time discussing how to promote cascara. This had captured our attention due to its potential in promoting the concept of circularity in the coffee industry, especially after the research done in part by Lennart Clerkx, the founder of This Side Up, in collaboration Lori-Rae van Laren and our partners in origin.

We parked the concept at the time, partly due to the fact cascara was not yet legal for human consumption in Europe. In the meantime, I began working for This Side Up, joining the company back in January 2019 for one day a week to create our portal.

Over the last few years, my role evolved to working full time in the coffee industry for TSU as our Operations Manager. Gaining the oversight I have now over the intricacies involved in getting the bean to the cup has only furthered my passion for promoting equality and transparency in the coffee world. I therefore became increasingly passionate about the potential for cascara to increase the income and improve the livelihoods for our producers, which at the moment is limited due its potential as of yet not really being realised.

Our values are identical to This Side Up;
– We are connected through trust
– Accountable through transparency
– We view our farmers as equal partners
– We cooperate instead of compete
– And we are inspired by nature.

Everyone in the value chain connected to The Other Half is an equal player, meaning our producers play an equally important part and have as much of an influence in how our ecosystem operates as our consumers, ourselves and everyone in between. For cascara to take off and grow as a product in the world, we need to ensure that education is spread across all of the chain; how to use it, but also how to process and export it properly.

Thank you for your interest, and please don’t hesitate to reach out in case you have feedback or comments on this new part of our constantly developing ecosystem.