Copal Tree Distillery, and Copalli Rum, supports sustainable agriculture causes in Southern Belize via producing and selling premium organic spirits.
Anya Fernald is the co-founder of Copal Tree Distillery and Belcampo.
Belcampo operates 27,000 acres of organic farmland in California and processes its own livestock for sale in its own butcher shops and restaurants.
Anya has two decades of entrepreneurship experience in high-quality premium foods. After graduating from college, Anya worked with cheesemakers in Sicily for a European Union rural development initiative, then directed a micro-investment program based in Northern Italy for 5 years. After returning to her home state of California, she built and sold two mission-driven food businesses and founded a small advisory firm that developed over two dozen profitable, values-driven food businesses in its three years of activity.
Anya has been recognized as one of Inc Magazine’s 100 Female Founders, the 40 under 40 by Food & Wine, appeared in a lengthy profile in The New Yorker’s “Food Issue” in 2014, and served as a regular judge on Iron Chef America on the Food Network between 2009 and 2017 seasons.
Anya began work in Belize in 2010 as a consultant to a prior incarnation of Copal Tree Lodge, supporting the transformation of the lodge by building its organic farming operations, bringing those products into the menu for its restaurant and bar. She then began working with owner Todd Robinson on a bigger vision for the property, first obtaining its organic certification (the first certified Organic farm in Belize) and later overseeing the design and construction of the zero-impact distillery at the farm.
Todd Robinson has trailblazed conservation efforts in Central America’s Belize with widespread and socially impactful investments since 2005. His charitable foundations have profoundly improved the marine and terrestrial environment as well as the standard of living of the people in Southern Belize through educational grants and philanthropic business developments.
Robinson is especially committed to preserving Belize’s pristine marine environment with strategic investments in the country’s fishing industry including the institution of a catch and release program, the construction and donation of a research station to the University of Belize, and an initiative to benefit The Port of Honduras Marine Reserve that helps local communities harvest its sustainable resources and protect it from exploitation by poachers.
Since 2006, Robinson has been the key stakeholder in Copal Tree Lodge in Punta Gorda that is now the largest employer in the Toledo District of Belize outside of the government providing jobs in hospitality and organic farming. The award-winning lodge has helped ignite tourism to Southern Belize among a diverse and robust audience of travelers. In 2016, he built Copal Tree Distillery on the lodge’s property and donated it in trust for the benefit of the people in the Toledo District. Profits from the distillery will be delivered as grants for various educational and environmental activities; if the distillery is sold, the proceeds from the sale of the distillery will stay in the trust to provide income in perpetuity.
Robinson has extended his investments to fund individual Belizean tourism operators in addition to a young artist coalition that documents environmental and social injustices through documentary filmmaking.
Ed is the President and Master Distiller at Copal Tree Distillery in Belize and was involved in the distillery construction, commissioning and developed Copalli Rum. Prior to joining Copal Tree Distillery, he ran his own successful distillery in Westchester County, NY for 10 years.
He received his distillation and fermentation training at the cognac distillery Domain Prive, in Archiac, France.
He received a Master of Science degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from the State University of Stony Brook.
Karen Yong is a Distillery Operator at Copal Tree Distillery Ltd. She joined the Distillery team at the initial start up of operations in 2016. Her duties include distillery shift supervisor, where she is responsible for initiating and monitoring fermentation and distillation during her shift, and as processing supervisor where she oversees blending and bottling operations.
Karen has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology from Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, Malaysia since 2015. She did her internship at Tropical Peat Research Laboratory in Sarawak. Her studies included various subject areas such as Advance Biochemistry, Biotechnology Research Project, Industrial Microbiology, Molecular Biotechnology, Communicable Disease Control, and Environmental Biotechnology.
Shirleymae Parham is the Assistant Manager at Copal Tree Distillery Ltd. She joined the Distillery team at the initial start up of operations in 2016. Prior to becoming the Assistant Manager for the Distillery, Shirleymae was at Copal Tree Lodge bringing 10 years of experience in management and customer relations.
Some of her current responsibilities are the company’s legal operational requirements within Belize, human resources, supervising accounting, general administrative duties, international purchasing and logistics for exporting and importing of shipments.
Shirleymae has obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from Anglia Ruskin University since 2017 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management from the University of Belize since 2008.
Waluco Maheia, a was born and raised in Belize. He grew up and spent most of his youth in Cattle Landing Village, Toledo District, Belize. Waluco attended Loyola University Chicago, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy.
He is currently the Rum Expert and Assistant Manager at Copal Tree Lodge (2018-Current), in the heart of Belize’s rainforest in Central America. Waluco conducts distillery tours and detailed rum tastings at Copal Tree Distillery. He is also a Copalli representative for local promotion and sales. For leisure, Waluco enjoys writing music in the hip hop genre. He loves his country of Belize dearly, and the beautiful aspects of nature present within. He is glad to be back home working with an organic and sustainable rum, Copalli.
Relax & Enjoy
Our organic single estate rum is made from three ingredients sourced from an all organic farm in the heart of the rainforest in Southern Belize.