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Caravela Names North America Director, Plans Move to Houston

Carlos De Valdenebro

Newly appointed Caravela Coffee North America Managing Director Carlos de Valdenebro (left). Courtesy photo.

Latin American green coffee trading company Caravela Coffee is expanding its presence in the United States with the appointment of Carlos de Valdenebro into the new position of North American managing director.

The 20-year-old B-Corp-certified company is also planning to relocate its North American headquarters from North Carolina to Houston early next year.

The move to Houston — which will include offices and a cupping lab — will bring Caravela’s North American operations closer to its export operations in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Caravela currently maintains import offices in North America, Europe (London, UK), Taiwan (Taipei City) and Australia (NSW). The North American office was the vertically integrated company’s first on the import side when it opened 10 years ago.

“When we opened the office, we had just 16 roaster customers and today we have more than 300 active customers, so it’s grown a lot in the past 10 years,” Caravela Coffee Marketing and Community Coordinator Marisabel Vasquez told DCN. “It was our first dedicated import office and help set the stepping stone to our fully-vertically integrated model, from farm to roaster… We see plenty of growth opportunities, even during the pandemic, and have ambitious plans to continue growing.”

De Valdenebro will lead the office after spending the past six years as Caravela’s country manager for Colombia and Ecuador. Prior to joining Caravela, de Valdenebro was a trader and specialty coffee manager of Colombia for green coffee trading company Olam International.

Vasquez said de Valdenebro will assume the new position on Jan. 1, 2021, while existing North American employees will be offered a relocation package for the Houston office or may continue to work from home, as has been precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.