Our Team


Our Team is made of professionals with decades of international experience managing and leading projects in the agricultural and industrial sectors.


Mário Branco de Matos

Founder & CEO


A Mozambican raised Portuguese, Engº. Mario de Matos possesses over 40 years’ experience in the Agriculture and Agro-industrial sectors, devoting most of his professional career to Africa, with proven experience in the development of agriculture projects in Angola, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
In addition, he has participated in numerous projects in Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand), Central and South America (Dominican Republic, Porto Rico and Brazil), Europe (Portugal, Spain France England, and Germany), MENA (Egypt and Iran), Australia, and the US.

Mr. de Matos’ expertise extends to green and brownfield project appraisals and evaluations, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, and the management of large commercial agriculture and agro-industrial projects in a multitude of social, technical, and cultural environments.

He is experienced in the design and development of capacity building activities, search of finance for private sector and PPP projects, as well as organizing and managing workshops.

Mario is co-author of the Elsevier-published book on Sugar Cane Biorefinery Technology and Perspectives.
This book is an updated review of the sugar cane biorefinery global scenario outlining the importance of this crop from a chemical, energy and environment sustainability point-of-view, while also addressing, with total transparency, the controversial issues involving energy cane in the dilemma of food vs fuel, environmental impact, as well the production technology of first and second-generation ENA.

Mario received his Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences in 1975 from Escola Superior Agraria Dr. J. A. Lacerda, at Vila Pery, Mozambique and is a member of:

  • American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists – Louisiana Division;
  • Australian Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Australia;
  • S.A. Sugar Technologists Association, South Africa; 
  • Associação Portuguesa de Ciências Agrárias, Portugal; 
  • Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, Portugal; 
  • Soils Sciences Society of Nigeria

Prof. Dr. Fernando Santos

Co-Founder & Vice-President


Post-doctorate in bioenergy at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa; Post-doctorate in forest engineering from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV); Doctorate in agricultural biochemistry from UFV; Master in Phytotechnics at UFV; Agronomist at Montes Claros State University. Associate professor at the State University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Visiting professor and researcher in Portugal.

Member of the FAPERGS advisory committee.

Founding partner of BSS – Sustainable Biorefinery Solutions and 3S – Sustainable Solar Solutions. He has published several books on biomass and biorefinery, in Brazil and abroad.

In 2018, a member of my research group received the Rio Grande do Sul Young Researcher Award by FAPERGS. In 2019 he was honored for merit in teaching and research by the newspaper Serra Geral de Minas Gerais. In 2020 he was honored for merit in teaching by the Rio Grande do Sul Military Brigade.

He has over a hundred scientific publications.

Has experience in engineering, renewable energies, biomass, biorefining and innovation project.

Michel Cadalen

Chief Operations Officer

An Engineer in agriculture, having followed a course in political science, Michel Cadalen devoted more than twenty years of his life to the management of companies, mainly in agro-food in France, with partnerships in the Maghreb countries.

He devoted himself then to institutional, social and economic development in Africa, the Middle East and in South America, first as an international consultant and project manager, then general coordinator of the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation (Lux-Development) in Mali, where it oversees all partnerships between Luxembourg and Mali, in a wide variety of areas such as population health, training and integration of young people, development and organization of agricultural production in irrigated systems, transformation and enhancement of local  productions, decentralization and deconcentration, village water supply and drinking water supply, the promotion of endogenous culture,…).

Convinced that the development sustainability can’t be imagined without reasoned economic growth, he has always campaigned and acted for the existence of strong organizations and the promotion of value chains in strengthening of production systems. 

Colin Lea

Technical Director


• 7 new sugar factories
• 4 sugar factory extensions
• 3 Agro-Industry industrial complexes
• 2 x 50MW Diesel Power station extensions, HT power lines and 100 MW Distribution

• Best season total – 3.3m Tons cane crushed for 320,000T sugar

• Sugar factory sizes: 6000 – 20,000+ TCD
• Agroindustry complexes

• 4 Sugar factory expansion projects
• 17 Sugar factory evaluations and diagnostics

• 11 Sugar Factories
• Capacity 3 – 40 MW

• Barrage and river extraction main canal systems
• Underground distribution systems to size 300 kms water mains
• Irrigation power up to 26 MW

• HT Power lines up to 45 km
• 4 Sub-station distribution yards capacity 25 -100 MW

• Estate road distribution networks and main roads
• Housing estates

• Modernisation of Food processing plant
• Coordinating upgraded State Farm operations for above – 250,000 Ha

• Team Leader for Cotton sector rehabilitation
o New cotton gin
o Privatisation of 7 cotton gins
o Construction of central and 16 regional testing laboratories
o Computerised system for 6 electronic test certificates for 6 M bales/season
• Team Leader for Sturgeon Fish Farm – 16 M hatchlings per year.

PROJECT RESIDENT – Australia, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, UK, France, USA, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote
D’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan,
PROJECT TECHNICAL MISSIONS – China, Morocco, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Belize, Canada,
Madagascar, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Burundi, Cameroon, Costa Rica
REMOTE DIAGNOSIS – Guyana, Belize, Trinidad, Argentina, Peru, Indonesia, Mauritius, Portugal,
Sudan, Madagascar, Kenya

Dr. Jared Pretorius

Investments & Finance Director


Over 10 years in the Business Development and Corporate Finance / Structured Finance and trading commodities. Working independently for a variety of Investment Groups with extensive international experience resulting from different projects/roles in Portugal, UK, Australia, Nigeria, Bukinafaso, South Africa and the US.

A strategic thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong relationship capabilities. English (native) and Portuguese speaker with a proven track record in deal origination/execution and business development.

Specialties: Project Finance, Acquisition Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Transaction Services, Financing, Leverage Finance, M&A, Origination, Relationship, Real Estate, Crossborder transactions, International Business Development

Vincent Etienne

Logistics & Information Management Specialist


After a master in Project Management and another in Communications, Vincent is specialized in Project, Logistics and Information for missions in Change & Transformation, Delivery, Continuous Improvement, Program Management, People & (virtual) Team and Operations Management in IT and business environments.

With 26 years of various experiences spend in Management of unit, teams (internal, virtual & off-shore) but also programs, portfolios to finalize projects, various deliverables or processes improvement and services enhancement in different companies and environments, Vincent took the roles of COO, Operations and Domain Director but also Senior Program, Delivery, or Portfolio Manager.

His functional capabilities can be resumed as follow:
● Operations Management for textile industry and for IT consultancy
Chief Operations Officer, Operations Director; board of directors member; definition of company objectives and strategies; implementation of company strategies, objectives and action plans. Resolving Customer conflict as well as internal ones.
● Delivery & Practice Management for energy sector and public sector
Transversal follow-up of all current, futures and completed programs and projects. Resources’ Management, strategies’ optimization; competencies improvement; high level governance; organization of education, knowledge transfer and competencies centers for each technology team.
● Change & Transformation Management For NATO and EC
Lead huge programs from business modelization until customer transfer in international and local contexts including change, service optimization, configuration, delivery, quality, risk, knowledge and (virtual) team management.
● Program Management for Bank
Screening new projects; project allocation; enhanced use of resources; adapted project methodologies (such as PRINCE2, COBIT, SCRUM…); times and costs optimization and BID answers.
● People Management in IT , Telecom and Energy sectors
Program and project managers coaching (optimize costs, time and resources); manage virtual teams internationally for confidential and high-level projects; administrative team management; management from 3 to 100 persons (Team Leaders included).
● Service Management for healthcare companies (Baxter, Belgian Mutuality)
Design and implementation of ITIL service delivery & support (from service desk to recovery); OLA and SLA (service index); adapted Reporting and continuous improvement (Plan, Do, Control & Act).
● Knowledge Management for Bank, Private sector and EC
Define, build and implement knowledge base, flows, organization and transfer; chose adequate tools and develop education management.
● Organization and Logistics Management for Baxter and industry
Computerization & centralization of all carriages; Manage the necessary logistic to fulfil projects and programs scopes.
● Information Management for NATO
Centralization of business information across locations; information approach, flows & tools definition; online implementation: update processes; training and coaching for users.

Beside his successes in Programs, projects and portfolios, Vincent has gained a prize for Logistics Manager of the year in 1994.

Tiago Cardoso Pinto

Marketing & Communications Manager


Over 20 years of experience in Communications and Marketing, working for companies in Portugal, England and the United States of America.

While the career started as a journalist, evolving into investigation and international affairs, it was a small step to go into corporate communications and marketing, woking in the Housing and Technological sectors.

Also a photographer with various exhibits and books published.