Jostein Hertwig VD

Jostein is Attorney at Law with more than 20 years’ experience in international business development, cooperation, networking and negotiations.

After his business carrier Jostein started up and managed for 12 years an integrated organic farming initiative growing vegetables, fruits and berries, an organic food shop, bakery, juicery and providing work opportunities on the farm for unemployed people and refugees from foreign countries.

From 2014 Jostein is head of BERAS International Foundation that focus on research, development, education, implementation and communication of results and practical examples within the concepts of Ecological Regenerative Agriculture, Learning Centres for Sustainable Food Societies and Diet for a Green Planet. BERAS has an international network first of all in the Baltic Sea Region but also extending to India (Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Ladakh) Dominican Republic, Haiti, Tanzania and China.

Hans von Essen


Hans has more than 20 years´ experience of pedagogic innovation, certification, rural development and projects development, economy and management.

After Master of Science exam in agronomy Hans worked for two years as teacher and with practical management of the dairy cows at the biodynamic school farm in Järna, Sweden. He participated in formulating the first certification rules for organic animal production and built up a certification system for DEMETER in Sweden. He was also a part of the Rural Development Group that facilitated the conversion of a former Estonian sovchoz to organic farming during the time of the Soviet Union collapse.

Since 2003 Hans has been working for the BERAS projects and projects development, and with special responsibility for relations to the Russian speaking area.

Maria Micha

Maria holds a Master of Science degree in Human Geography within the master’s programme Globalization, Environment and Social Change at Stockholm University.

Maria has worked with BERAS since 2010, previously employed by the Biodynamic Research Institute and Södertörn University and currently by BERAS International.

Within BERAS, and through tasks assigned by the Södertälje Municipality project MatLust, Maria is currently mainly engaged in making relevant scientific research on environment and health available to small and middle sized food companies in the Stockholm region, as well as organizing learning events with researchers for the same target group.

Fredrik Hallberg


Fredrik holds a Degree of Master of Science in Business Administration and Economics. He has worked several years with business development and entrepreneurship and has an interest in good change and development processes. As a consultant and trainer, he has trained several companies and people in communication skills and released the book ”The team of the future – a study of what makes team effective”.

At BERAS International he works with customer relations, training programmes and business development. He is also the project leader for BERAS International conference ”Matkvalitet, Hälsa och Miljö” 19th May 2016.


Business area manager: fredrik.hallberg@beras.eu
Phone: 070 – 461 07 69

Birgitta von Essen


Birgitta is educated as a social worker and in curative pedagogics.
She has the last 30 years worked with curative pedagogics and social therapy both in care and as a teacher.
Since 1990 she has worked part time with administration for different organizations.

Birgitta lives since 1994 on a small forest farm in Järna. There, she and her husband Hans, tries to live as self sufficient as possible, doing their own wood, growing vegetables and berries and mushrooms hunting. They take care of the products; making jam, juice, drying mushrooms, apples and herbs, making fruit leather and lactic acid fermentation of vegetables. In the summertime they take care of sheep and hens belonging to friends.

Since 2001 they have taken trainees through wwoof (www.wwoof.se) and until now they have had more than 50 trainees from all over the world.

In BERAS International Birgitta is doing administration and assists in the project Farmers University.

Board of Directors

Karin Voltaire – Business manager, Södertälje municipality

Annelis Trolle – Production manager, Saltå Kvarn

Jostein Hertwig – Executive director, Beras International

Emil Mohr – Executive director, DebioInfo

Eva von Heideken – Chairman, Organic Farmers in Södermanland region, Sweden. Organic Dairy Farmer,

Arunas Svitojus – MD, Baltic Foundation, Lithuania


Artur Granstedt

artursfotoArtur has more than 50 years´ experience of ecological and biodynamic farming as farmer, adviser and researcher and is author of the book Agriculture for the future.

After Master of Science exam in agronomy and PhD in Plant Nutrient Sciences Artur worked on the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences as state extension specialist in Ecological Agriculture and then as Research Professor in Finland coordinating the national research program for organic farming. Build on his research work with farm studies in countries around the Baltic Sea, the principles for Ecological Recycling Agriculture was developed and publisched in several scientific reports, guidelines and books and Artur was founder and coordninator of the BERAS project.

Since 1997 Artur has been research leader for the Biodynamic Research Institute in Järna and working further on consultative basis also for the BERAS International.