Member of the month: Caitlin Frevert!

Office Club Mitglied des Monats Caitlin Frevert

Caitlin Frevert

Meet Caitlin, Sustainability Manager at Transmar group:

Quick introduction: Who are you? Where are you from and how did you end up in Berlin?
My name is Caitlin – 28 years old and originally from St. Paul, Minnesota in the USA. I moved to Berlin after living in Manhattan for a few years, finishing grad school and working. Ended up in Berlin since my German fiancé got a job here – we arrived in April 2011.

What is a "Sustainability Manager" at Transmar Group doing all day long?
Good question! No two days are ever the same, and it depends a lot on what is going on within the company for what projects I’m working on. Sometimes I’ll be preparing customer presentations, other times speaking with exporters on the ground around training initiatives for farmers, sometimes working with certification bodies (who provide the certification for the cocoa beans), handling financials or preparing strategic approaches and procedures for internal use in the company. It’s pretty diverse and I’m definitely never bored.

You go to West Africa on a regular basis and actually just came back from a trip to Ivory Coast. Who do you meet down there and why is it important to keep a close relationship?
Traveling to origin is my favorite part of this job, because I get to meet with the cocoa farmers themselves – and they’re the true experts about the needs and challenges on the ground. We work with exporters in a number of countries, so last minute travel to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Tanzania or Liberia wouldn’t be unheard of. It’s important for us as a Sustainability Department to maintain linkages to the real issues at hand in origin; otherwise, it gets too easy to just assume what the best solutions might be from up here in Europe, far away from the actual cocoa farms. Engaging the farmers and the exporters is critical to our success as a Sustainability Department, and as a company.

Anything special to consider / avoid for the "average western business traveller"?
You will get very good at packing – last time I traveled for a week, I managed to fit clothes for a business conference, visits with farmers, a black tie gala ball and gym clothes all into a carry-on. Wear long sleeves, bring bug spray, and don’t forget to take your Malarone!

When did you start coworking at Office Club?
In October.

Why are you coworking? What is your benefit?
I’m at coworking as my company is undergoing some construction, so my previous work space was no longer available. For me, this is a temporary gig, but it’s very beneficial to have a communal space in which to work away from my apartment.

What are your favourite spots in Berlin?
Maharadscha, a little Indian restaurant (delicious!), and Literaturhaus off Kudamm.

Thanks a lot and "Bon voyage" (again and again)!

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