GRAIN is a small and like-minded group with an ambitious agenda. Our team is presently composed of ten programme staff and three finance, administration and fundraising staff. Six of us are women and together we represent eleven nationalities. Rich in our diversity, GRAIN functions as a collective, with a horizontal management system and participatory decision-making.

Staff with a global focus

Henk Hobbelink
Henk is an agronomist by training. In the 1980s he worked with farmers in Peru on sustainable pest management and after that he worked with Dutch and European NGOs drawing attention to the importance of agricultural biodiversity for the future of farming. In 1990, he co-founded GRAIN and over the past two decades has helped the organisation grow into an international collective that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Henk is the coordinator of GRAIN, and as such is responsible for the overall functioning of the organisation as well as conducting research, writing and outreach activities.
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain 
  • Languages: Spanish, English and Dutch 
  • Email: henk [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +34 93 301 1381

Renée Vellvé
Renée started working with Henk in 1987 to help run the ICDA Seeds Campaign. In 1990, they co-founded GRAIN as an independent organisation. Renée works on the global programme and helps with the coordination of GRAIN. She is currently based in Paris, France.
  • Location: Paris, France 
  • Languages: English, French and Spanish 
  • Email: renee [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +33 6 75 07 34 68
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Devlin Kuyek
Devlin joined GRAIN in 2003, after working with NGOs and peasant organisations in Malaysia and the Philippines. He is GRAIN's most active researcher, focusing on monitoring and analysing global agribusiness, including the global land rush. Devlin is based in Montreal, Canada, and spends time supporting partners and staff in the regions as much as possible.
  • Location: Montreal, Canada 
  • Languages: English, French and (some) Spanish 
  • Email: devlin [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +1 514 5717702
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Staff with a regional focus

Kartini Samon
Kartini joined GRAIN in 2013 after several years working with the Indonesian peasant movement, SPI, and supporting La Via Campesina South East and East Asia Youth's communication team. Kartini has a nutritionist and rural development background. She's actively involved with the peasant and rural youth movements in her country. Her responsibility is to support GRAIN's partners in Asia and to implement the programme in the region.
  • Location: Jakarta, Indonesia 
  • Languages: Bahasa Indonesia and English
  • Email: kartini [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +62 813 14761305


Afsar Jafri
Afsar Jafri has been with GRAIN since January 2019 and is GRAIN’s India/South Asia coordinator based in New Delhi. With over 20 years of work on agriculture and food policy, Afsar is closely linked with farmers' groups in India and in the region. He has a Master's in Philosophy (International Law) from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
  • Location: New Delhi, India 
  • Languages: Hindi and English
  • Email: afsar [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +91 95820 70803

Susan Nakacwa
Susan is a journalist by training and joined GRAIN in 2017. Her passion lies in researching, documenting and making the case for smallholder farming on the African continent. She strongly believes that smallholder farmers are the custodians of healthy and sustainable agricultural practices and are our only hope in fixing our broken food system. Apart from implementing GRAIN’s programmes across the region, Susan also supports and works closely with GRAIN’s partners in Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Location: Kampala, Uganda 
  • Languages: Luganda and English
  • Email: susan [at] grain.org


Ange-David Baïmey
Ange-David Baïmey joined GRAIN in 2014. A passionate advocate for social and environmental justice in rural areas, Ange-David supports GRAIN’s partners in Africa. He worked for several years with local organisations and social movements in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and other West African countries on issues ranging from climate justice to biodiversity loss. His main focus at GRAIN is on land grabbing and climate-related issues. Ange-David has a background in environmental sociology and knowledge management.
  • Location: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Languages: French and English
  • Email: ange [at] grain.org

Ramón Vera-Herrera
Ramón joined GRAIN in 2009. He is the overall editor of Biodiversidad, a quarterly magazine produced in collaboration with 10 partners in the region. He also works actively with the rest of GRAIN's Latin America team in advancing our programme in the region. In addition, he edits the Mexican monthly Ojarasca, translates international writers for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada and is actively involved in the struggles of indigenous peasants in his country.
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico 
  • Languages: Spanish and English
  • Email: ramon [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +52 5556155527

Larissa Packer 
Larissa Ambrosano Packer joined GRAIN in July 2018. She is a people’s lawyer and works to protect the human and socio-environmental rights of peasants, indigenous peoples and traditional communities. She worked many years with the human rights organisation Terra de Direitos and is a member of the Carta de Belem Group which opposes the financialization of the commons. She is also a member of the Biodiversity working group of Brazil’s Articulaçao Nacional de Agroecología. As part of GRAIN’s Latin America team, she is responsible for the implementation of GRAIN’s programme and fostering of collaborations with allies in the region.
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
  • Languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English
  • Email: larissa [at] grain.org 

Carlos A. Vicente 
Carlos joined GRAIN in 2001, after many years with CETAAR, a group which works on the promotion of medicinal plants in Argentina. A pharmacist by training, Carlos' role in GRAIN is to coordinate our information and outreach work in Latin America, as well as support GRAIN's partners and help implement our overall programme in the region. He also participates in bilaterals.org and farmlandgrab.org and, as member of the Argentine group Acción por la Biodiversidad, helps run biodiversidadla.org.
  • Location: Marcos Paz (Buenos Aires), Argentina 
  • Languages: Spanish and English
  • Email: carlos [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +54 220 4774581


Finance and administration

Virginia Quesada 
Virginia joined GRAIN in 2014. Passionate about the protection of peasants’ rights, she began working in the Spanish NGO VSF in 1997, focusing on internal organisational work. Today, her main function is to support GRAIN’s administration and financial management.
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain 
  • Languages: English, Spanish and Catalan
  • Email: virginia [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +34 933011381


Aitor Urkiola
Aitor joined GRAIN in 2000, coming from a long experience working with different NGOs in the Basque Country. At GRAIN, Aitor is in charge of the overall administration, financial management and organisational development. He also backs up the coordinator when needed and plays a key role in managing GRAIN's vital communication tools.
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain 
  • Languages: English, Spanish, Basque and Catalan 
  • Email: aitor [at] grain.org 
  • Telephone: +34 933011381


Collaborations

Beyond the staff, a whole range of people collaborate with GRAIN in one capacity or another. They help us with web development, translations, publications, outreach and more. Geographically-speaking, they are as spread out as GRAIN's staff team and are essential to our operations. We are extremely grateful for their skilful help, commitment and partnership. Among them we would like to highlight Paul Pantastico, who works on GRAIN's web development from the Philippines, and Raúl Fernández, who works on GRAIN's graphic design from Spain.
We also benefit enormously from the inputs of a large range of people who helped with GRAIN's publications and other information outputs, be it as editors, translators, designers or other. These include Emilio Montecinos (Chile), Odile Girard-Blakoe (France), Valentine Elleau (France), Harold Slamovitz (United States) and Anoushka Carter (United Kingdom).