On 12th session of #BhutanDialogues which was scheduled on 8 November (the second Thursday of the month) from 4:00 pm at UN House, Kawajangsa, Thimphu.

On the conversation between our host, Dr Karma Phuntsho, the Founder and President of Loden Foundation and our speaker, Daniel Spitzer, the Chairman/CEO of #MountainHazelnuts, Bhutan

Daniel Spitzer is the Chairman/CEO, Mountain Hazelnuts Group, Bhutan. Since the early 1990’s, Daniel has founded and led companies in Asia that have successfully combined financial objectives with social and environmental goals, including Mountain Hazelnuts (MH) and Plantation Timber Products Group (PTP).

In a unique public-private-community partnership MH is planting 10 million hazelnut trees on degraded mountainsides to rehabilitatr fragile ecosystems and sequester CO2. In the process tens of thousands of mountain farmers have the opportunity to generate income. MH is Bhutan’s first 100% FDI and its shareholders include the IFC (of the World Bank Group) and Asian Development Bank.

MH draws on the PTP model, which engaged 700,000 farmer partners growing trees on deforested mountains and vulnerable river regions in Sichuan China that served as raw material for PTP’s sustainable forest products. PTP built state-off-the-art factories, then established 1,000+ retail stores, and well-recognized brands to generate strong cash flow.

Earlier in his career, Daniel was Partner in a US$ 10 billion private equity fund that invested in Asian companies. Daniel received a Masters from Stanford University and a BA from University of California, Berkeley. Daniel is been a regular lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, focusing on entrepreneurship and social impact. He and his wife have a son and daughter, both of whom grew up in Asia and now have international careers.

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