How I fell in love with the rain forest
„We slept in wooden huts, showered with rainwater, heard the voices of nature. And suddenly it was there again. The feeling of freedom and satisfaction. A world where values count, that I experienced as a child. Far away from consumption, career and materialism. I was back where I came from. And yet I was not the same anymore.”
"Albana, why did you quit your job as a top manager to sell acai berries from the rainforest?" A question I have been asked not once since the Rainforest Company was founded. I admit: my undertaking was reckless. Unbelievable for many and certainly unconventional. But for me it was the most important step of my life. Maybe you know this feeling. If there is this one turning point that challenges everything I've done so far. There is no going back. Because what you are planning gives your life a new meaning - and in my case even gives thousands of people a better future.
I grew up in Kosovo, in a small village called Botushë. At my grandparents' house, surrounded by animals, I showered outside and slept with my cousins in wooden huts. My parents came to Switzerland in the seventies as guest workers. We didn't have warm water and money, but unconditional love, cohesion and endless nature. In retrospect, I consider these years the most beautiful of my childhood. But as a teenager I longed for independence and contrast.
In a world marked by consumption and fast money, I started my financial career in Switzerland. By my late twenties, I had made the leap to the managerial level and held my own in a strongly male-dominated industry. This gave me self-confidence, courage and above all financial independence. I was proud of what I had achieved. But in the evening I lay in bed and wondered about the true meaning of what I was doing. Is it really? Is there more?
I was to find the answer in 2015, after I boarded a plane to the Amazon. The plan was an adventure holiday at the survival camp. But the journey itself turned out to be the beginning of the probably biggest adventure of my life. Together with my friend and afterwards co-founder, Jan Philipp Sasse, we got to know the farmers of today's Acai plantations. They took us to the harvest at dawn and taught us everything about their acai business. We slept in wooden huts, showered with rainwater, heard the voices of nature. And suddenly it was there again. The feeling of freedom and satisfaction. A world where values count, that I experienced as a child. Far away from consumption, career and materialism. I was back where I came from. And yet I was not the same anymore.
I founded The Rainforest Company to protect the rainforest: a magical place with its breathtaking wildlife, its plant diversity, which protects our climate and gives a home to wonderful people. With their unique knowledge and thousands of years of experience they keep the Amazon alive. The Rainforest Company provides these farmers with a secure and fair income so that they can send their children to school. Only by working hand in hand can we win the battle against climate change.
This is the team
CEO & founder
Assistant to the CEO
public relations manager
social media management
Working student accounting
Dual student of logistics
Working student logistics
Business Development Manager