Tierra Nova was established in 2004. This independent foundation, which has close ties with Simon Lévelt, is managed by Hans and two Simon Lévelt employees: Rob Sikkema (member of the board) and Paula Koelemij (head of purchasing). Additional support is provided by Ignace Breemer (purchaser for Simon Lévelt). The funding for the foundation comes mainly from Simon Lévelt’s profits.
The foundation focuses on projects in the countries of origin. Besides being involved in the development of sustainable production methods, Tierra Nova also plays a key role in improving the working and living conditions of the farmers. To achieve this, the foundation invests in schools, health centres and facilities on and near the plantations. This investment is badly needed, as in India, for example, many children don’t have access to education. To help address this need Simon Lévelt, in cooperation with Ambootia Tea Estate, decided in 2001 to build a primary school on one of Ambootia’s tea plantations: the Ambootia Simon Levelt Primary School. In 2003 the building was extended with an extra classroom and in 2008 an assembly hall was added thanks to a donation from Tierra Nova. The school now possesses several computers that were acquired with money donated by customers of Simon Lévelt. These days the school provides education to no less than 40 pre-schoolers and 120 school-aged children.
Tierra Nova contributed to the establishment of a special training centre for the coffee farmers that are associated with the production facilities
Tierra Nova offers support in the form of either a financial contribution or knowledge and experience. One example is the Sipi Falls project in Uganda, which is co-financed by the Dutch ministry of economic affairs. When Simon Lévelt helped build central coffee processing facilities in 2008, Tierra Nova contributed to the establishment of a special training centre for the coffee farmers that are associated with the production facilities. The trainings that are provided contribute to a higher quality of the coffee and they ensure a higher price for the farmers.