Family Business

We, and thus our entire family business, are characterized by our values, which should always and everywhere be noticeable. This applies to investors who want to achieve a measurable positive impact for nature and people with their impact investment, as well as to companies and private individuals who want to protect the climate and promote biodiversity through reforestation and forest conservation.

We prove that commercial interests and nature conservation are by no means mutually exclusive by linking these two topics in a purposeful manner. Earning something with a sustainable investment or strengthening the bond with customers and partners as a company thanks to a proven commitment to nature conservation ultimately generates multiple added value for everyone.

A promise of return for investors or a guarantee for supporters that the conservation projects will always achieve all the ambitious goals would not be serious, but we promise you that your investment in trees or your financed reforestation and forest conservation projects are personally close to our hearts, just like the local people.

Our business model is based on mutual respect, trust, honesty, authenticity, transparency and reliability. The personal relationship with our customers and business partners therefore means a lot to us. Under the heading Trust you will find helpful and brief explanations of how we implement our philosophy.

Arbofino AG, founded in 2014, is a pure family business based in Männedorf, Switzerland. In addition, there are two wholly owned subsidiaries in Ecuador. Arbofino Tierra Ecuador SA is the owner of the fincas and does not carry out any operational activities. Arbofino Ecuador SA is responsible for all operational business in Ecuador and manages the plantations.

For our Reforestation and Forest Conservation concept, whose projects are pure nature reserves, we have founded the non-profit Bosquefino Foundation in Ecuador (the establishment is close to completion – because of the Corona situation the process had been delayed). It owns the land, called «Reservas», where these projects are implemented. You can read more about the foundation in the section Bosquefino Foundation.

Team

Dominic Ziegler, founder and CEO:

 “Here I am human, here I am allowed to be!” At the beginning of my professional career, I was involved in building up another young company. In the last few years, I have had the pleasure of establishing my own company. In doing so, I can confidently observe how, after graduating in business administration, topics of my young professional dreams of forestry, biology and environmental sciences have quietly become part of my everyday life.

 My previous experience as managing director of an internationally active environmental foundation as well as my WWF diploma in environmental consulting help me to consistently implement my sustainability claim. My first step into the world of teak was as head of marketing of a current competitor. During that time, I not only gained a comprehensive insight into the industry, but also discovered areas that I wanted to implement in my own way and in my own company. My heart now beats twice for Ecuador, new for the Arbofino projects and for years for my wife’s home country. I am proud that Arbofino is a pure family business, which allows to make the philosophy and conviction tangible at any time.

Dominic: Founder & CEO

My recommendation
Membership in the association Friends of the Galápagos Islands Switzerland – http://www.galapagos-ch.org (board member since 2010)

What I still wanted to say
All you need is Ecuador!
(let yourself be inspired)

My conviction
Core values are not negotiable.

Beatriz: Head of Administration

My recommendation
Visit your trees and combine it with a trip to Ecuador. Insider tips? Anytime with pleasure!

What I wanted to say
What I will never understand with the Swiss: How can you enjoy a meal on the terrace in freezing temperatures!

My conviction
Honesty makes you free.

Leandro: Managing Director Ecuador

My recommendation
You can always do something for our planet. With your help we can achieve even more!

What I wanted to say
Dominic already knew how to get extra points with me: with a new coffee machine for the finca. Viva el Café!

My conviction
How you are inside makes you special, being honest makes you committed.

Javier: Administrator Fincas

My recommendation
Take your time to organize and plan. That is the only way to keep everything under control.

What I wanted to say
Without a nice jersey, football is only half the fun. Thanks Arbofino!

My conviction
With a smile and a lot of intuition you can get further.

Yumar: Supervisor

My recommendation
Stay out of other people’s problems and concentrate on your own affairs.

What I still wanted to say
I am almost a little jealous of the beautiful new tack room of the horses.

My conviction
Providing good service starts with your attitude.

Grismaldo: Supervisor

My recommendation
Do your work conscientiously and value your team, this is the only way to achieve your goals.

What I wanted to say
When someone is hard on you in soccer? Take it and dish it out the same way.

My conviction
Reliability and respect pay off.

Edison: Coordinator Admin & Projects

My recommendation
If you care about the environment, you care about us.

What I still wanted to say
When I visited Arbofino, I was amazed by the beautiful free concerts of howler monkeys in the hills.

My conviction
Start and end your day with gratitude.

Roberto: Supervisor & Machinist

My recommendation
Taking good care of and maintaining machines saves time, money and nerves.

What I wanted to say
It’s not so bad that I can drive the tractor while the others are on foot.

My conviction
Without alcohol you avoid problems and save money.

Jorge: Supervisor

My recommendation
The more versatile you are, the more important you are for an employer. Stay tuned!

What I still wanted to say
On horseback and dressed up – that’s how you impress the chicas here.

My conviction
One proves one’s abilities by deeds, not by words.

Matías: Auxiliary & Guard

My recommendation
Stick to agreements and look for amicable solutions.

What I still wanted to say
When the boss is on site, catch her the biggest fish. That gives extra points!

My conviction
Fight with each other, not against each other.

portrait_barbara_ziegler

Barbara: CAO – Chief Animal Officer

My recommendation
Do not look away but act when animals are treated badly!

What I still wanted to say
You can rely on Yumar to treat our mules, horses, pigs, chickens and dogs well even when we are not there.

My conviction
Talking is silver, set an example is gold!

Pincho: (horse)

What I still wanted to say
You may load me, but not too heavy and please do not cut my mane anymore. After all I am a pony, not a mule!

Canela: (horse)

What I still wanted to say
I’m sorry that sometimes I just stop and don’t feel like going on. At least I am a good mother.

Cori: (mule)

What I still wanted to say
Luckily, I don’t have to carry at your place as much weight as I used to, but the way to the pasture is a bit exhausting.

Chuleta: (dog)

What I still wanted to say
I like life on the finca much better than on the streets of Quito. Here I am the watchdog boss, nobody passes me unnoticed!

Lili: (dog)

What I still wanted to say
Thanks for taking me in! One day I might learn that I am not allowed to jump up on you. I just love you so much.

Arena: (dog)

What I still wanted to say
When you took me along, I was just skin and bones. Thank you, Chief Animal Officer Barbara!

Lucy: (cat)

What I still wanted to say
I’m glad that I was allowed to stay with you. Just don’t give me too much food, otherwise I won’t catch any more mice.

Chita: (horse)

What I still wanted to say
Thanks for saving me from the butcher! But I don’t find it funny that you derived my name from the word “Chatarra” (=scrap). Fortunately, I could teach you something better.

Gota: (horse)

What I still wanted to say
I am eternally grateful that you bought Chita and me out of pity. You will not regret it!

Pastelito: (mule)

What I still wanted to say
Without me you would have to buy a tractor! But, fortunately, you thank me with this delicious food, which I never got before.

Jimmi: (mule)

What I still wanted to say
I am still a little young, but a very dear one! Only touching my ears I don’t like very much, but I’m getting used to it.

Nina: (dog)

What I still wanted to say
Ok, I am a little bit tiring with my barking. But I am always bored. At least nobody can sneak past me.

Howler monkeys:

What we wanted to say:
Great that we have so much protected forests thanks to you and that you even leave some bananas for us. But it is still fun to wake you up early in the morning with a lot of roaring! 🙂

Board of Directors

portrait_christoph_ziegler

Christoph Ziegler (Präsident)

Hotelier, management consultancy, individual and team coaching

“I quickly sensed that my son was not going for the trivial realization of an idealized dream, but rather with the willingness to follow through on his philosophy and values in all consistency. In this intercontinental endeavour I realized how valuable it is to be at home in both cultures. To speak the language fluently is one thing, to understand the cultural values and ways of thinking something else. We are pleased to see that our local employees have not only understood many elements of sustainability but are already applying them. We are also pleased with the impressive growth of the trees. I see my confidence in the project fully confirmed and share the gratifying echoes from our investors with the greatest satisfaction. A piece of nature you can touch is a contemporary gift! If not to yourself, then certainly to your loved ones.

Patrick Müller

Entrepreneur, Chemical Engineer, MBA

CEO, DrM Shanghai Co, Ltd, China & President DrM, Dr. Mueller, Switzerland

“Sustainable living and business are a central concern for me. Both in the company and in private life, we try to have the lowest possible CO2 emissions. Solar panels are installed where it is possible and makes sense. When Dominic told me about his ideas, I immediately felt addressed. I am convinced that this kind of cultivation is a reasonable future strategy. It is a solution that is not only sustainable, but also meets the growing demand for resources. Dominic’s enthusiasm convinced me to invest in the company”.

Dominic Ziegler

Entrepreneur, Business Economist FH, Environmental Consultant (Diploma WWF), MBA Sustainability Management (in study)

Founder and CEO Arbofino

“To me, Arbofino is more than just a company. It’s about passion for the projects, emotions for the country and its people, and the joy of interacting with customers. Like many financial market players, various providers of tangible assets do not always have the best reputation. This is unfortunate for those who are correct and transparent. The important thing is to remain realistic and communicate openly. The potential of trees is undisputed, and we are convinced that one is rewarded for patience. We cannot influence everything, but where we can, we leave nothing to chance”.

Fincas & Reservas

Our fincas are located on the coastal side of the Andes, about three hours inland from the sea. From Quito they can be reached by car in about 6.5 hours and from Guayaquil in 3.5 hours. The hilly land of this area is characterized by cattle breeding and small-scale agriculture. The pasture land with its introduced high and strong grass dominates the landscape. Besides ranching, corn, cacao and rice are the most cultivated agricultural products. Particularly valuable for the local biodiversity are the small areas of secondary forest left on the steep slopes of the hills and partly along the creeks and rivers.

Finca Armadillo

The Finca Armadillo has a total area of 103 hectares. 42 hectares were planted with teak and a few small plots with native tree species. Native fine flavored cacao grows on about 15 hectares. The rest of the Finca consists of protected secondary forest (24 ha), natural reforestation (14 ha) and a pasture for our horses and mules.

Meaning Armadillo: The Armadillo is the mostly nocturnal armored mammal, which can be found in the region and also on the Finca.

Finca Guatusa

On the 40-hectare Finca Guatusa, 25 hectares were planted with teak. The rest of the finca consists of valuable secondary forest, a small country house for the local rural family and a pasture of almost 2 hectares for their animals.

The Finca Guatusa, which is within sight distance from the Finca Armadillo, is surrounded on three sides by beautiful streams.

Finca Perezosa

The Finca Perezosa is 41 hectares in size and adjacent to the Finca Armadillo, just separated by a stream. Besides 26 hectares of teak, the finca consists of 3 hectares of cacao, 8 hectares of secondary forest and 2 hectares of natural reforestation. On the western side it borders on the Estero Santiago, a larger creek with a thunderous 10 m high waterfall, right at the height of the Finca Perezosa farmhouse.

Meaning Perezosa: The Perezoso (female Perezosa) is the Spanish name for the well camouflaged sloths found in Central and South America, from which the three-fingered sloth can also be found on the Finca Perezosa.

 

Finca Tortuga

Arbofino’s newest finca is the 152-hectare Finca Tortuga, acquired in 2020, which borders the Río Daule River. Due to the flatter topography, this finca has been almost entirely used for cattle ranching, which is why, apart from a narrow belt along the river, one can hardly find any forest remnants. The remaining 17 hectares of secondary forest along the river are now part of our conservation area. In addition, during the rainy season in 2021 we have reforested another 19 hectares of natural forest, part of it to enlarge the protected zone along the river and part as biodiversity corridors within the teak plantation. Thus, despite the ideal topography for commercial projects, 25% of the area on this finca has been designated as a nature reserve.

Meaning Tortuga: The name Tortuga refers to the freshwater turtle found in and around the streams on the finca.

Reserva Ceiba

The Reserva Ceiba is the first property purchased in 2020 for pure conservation projects and will belong to the Bosquefino Foundation in the future. This nature reserve is located right next to our Finca Perezosa. The 31 hectare land is ideal for natural reforestation due to its rather steep topography. Almost 11 hectares of it is secondary forest, most of which has been preserved in the form of narrow belts along the streams. This forest has a particularly important protective function for the various springs. Two hectares of the property are kept as pasture land, the remaining area is used for natural reforestation.

Meaning Ceiba: The name Ceiba comes from the kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra). With growth heights of up to 75 m, it is one of the highest growing trees in the tropical rainforest and moist forest.

Fincas location

Memberships

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