Meet the team

Charlotte Borger

Communications Manager

Charlotte managed communications at Divine Chocolate for 17 years, and has more recently worked with two other social justice charities. She joins Zaytoun as the company approaches its 20th year, and will be expanding the reach of the story of our special brand and its unique provenance.

“I am very lucky to have the opportunity to once again immerse myself in a world where farmers facing many challenges are heard, supported and represented. I look forward to listening and learning and building on Zatyoun’s success to date. I hope to visit Palestine in the future, and in the meantime I’m working my way through all our delicious recipes!”

Donal Guerin

Finance Manager

Donal has held senior-level finance leadership roles in blue-chip companies, most recently at Rolls-Royce SMR and Ventient Energy. Donal was inspired to join Zaytoun by his wife’s visits to Palestine as part of the Protective Presence programme.

“I grew up on a farm in Ireland. There are many parallels between Ireland’s colonial past and modern-day Palestine, and it was an easy decision to join Zaytoun when the opportuity arose.”

HEather masoud

Co-founder & Operations Director

Heather visited Palestine in 2003 to join human rights observers in accompanying farmers to harvest their fruit. The trip was a life-changing one, after learning about the scale of injustice first-hand it was impossible not to become further involved. Heather has a Masters in Natural Resource Management and a long-term interest in trade justice.

“This was taken at Canaan’s olive harvest festival in Jenin – the olive oil fresh from the press and dancing the dabke in the olive groves is an annual highlight.”

MAnal Ramadan white

Managing Director

Manal has a degree in Political Science and Economics and had spent a number of years working in financial services in the City of London. Her yearning to reconnect with her roots combined with a desire to champion Palestine though ethical trade inspired her to join Zaytoun.

“Spending time in olive, almond and date groves, speaking to producers, celebrating the harvests with them, and knowing the difference that market access has on their communities makes this job a dream. Besides – I love good food so they don’t make it difficult. Did you know that Palestinians have the best picnics?”

Omar qasim

Omar joined Zaytoun in 2020, with several years experience in his role as finance assistant elsewhere.

Finance Assistant

“With Palestinian heritage, I was gripped by the chance to be a part of Zaytoun. I’ve been a big fan of Zaytoun products for a few years, in particular the olive oil, and the chilli roasted almonds are a new favourite. One of my favourite Palestinian dishes is Bamiyeh – roast okra in a tomato sauce – but I can never turn down some Shawarma fresh off the grill!”

Wesam Tahboub

Customer Relations Manager

With a background in hospitality, and experience in the charity and social housing sectors, Wesam brings her love of cooking and an eye for detail to our customer relations.

“Working at Zaytoun has given me the opportunity to tell people about my roots and educate them about the dishes I ate as a child. I strive to share the message about Palestine through my love of food. My best moments have been the harvest tour and visiting places beyond my Aunt’s sofa; seeing the true beauty of the land. I also love meeting the many visitors from Palestine and I feel like I am part of a special family.”

Meet the board

atif choudhury

Co-founder & Non-Executive Board member

Atif co-founded Zaytoun CIC in 2004 in direct response to his visits to Palestine and volunteer work with the International Solidarity Movement. 

He is an award-winning social entrepreneur, with a background in economic justice and disability inclusion projects. Until recently he was also a trustee for the anti-poverty NGO War-on-Want and remains founding director of  ‘Diversity and Ability’ (DnA) a user-led social enterprise working to highlight lived experiences of disabled and marginalised adults in the role of assistive technology and mentoring to co-supporting others to flourish in Higher education and the workplace.

cathi pawson

Co-founder & Non-Executive Board member

Cathi has travelled in the Middle East since studying Arabic and Islamic Studies at Exeter University, and first went out to Palestine in 2003 as a volunteer with the International Women’s Peace Service.

She worked there with farming communities on land access and returned with a resolve to take action to tangibly support those communities through finding a market for their products, and to find a way to tell their stories


peter jones

Non-Executive Board member

Peter spent the first part of his career as a corporate executive with commercial management roles at Procter & Gamble and Reed Elsevier to name a few. He now works as an independent management consultant based in Gloucestershire, and since 2013 has served as a trustee on the board of a medical charity, The Paget’s Association.

Peter joined our board in 2019 wanting to contribute to Zaytoun’s mission of expanding the market for Palestinian produce.

Rebecca Rowland

Non-Executive Board member

Becca has been a keen supporter of Fairtrade for over 20 years and a supporter of Zaytoun for almost as long. She was one of the first to pre-finance one of the very first shipments of olive oil in 2004. She has run a local Fairtrade group and served as a Trustee at Fairtrade Foundation for several years.

Becca is also an experienced business analyst having spent her career in the aviation sector where she is an expert in understanding air travel markets around the world. She joined our board in 2019.

susan ralphs

Board Chair

Sue joined the board as our Chair in 2019, inspired by Zaytoun’s mission to show the richness of Palestine culture; the enthusiasm of the staff team, and of course the best olive oil and dates in the world!

Sue has worked within the social business sector for over ten years; as Finance Director, then Managing Director of Ethical Property Company.  She is a Chartered Accountant and has been in senior management for 25 years. She worked initially in Oxfam then as Finance Director at the women’s organisation, YWCA before joining Ethical Property.

Sue currently lives in Oxford working as a consultant and coach and is also on the boards of a housing association and charitable foundation.

taysir arbasi

Advocacy and Liaison in Palestine & Non-Executive Board member

Taysir has been working with Zaytoun since our founding years. An advocate of the power of fair trade in supporting community resilience, he grew up in the Salfeet district which is an area highly dependent on olive cultivation, and one which has seen much of its rich agricultural resources confiscated through the construction of illegal Israeli settlements

In addition to his work with Zaytoun he has worked with an international NGO on advocacy and development projects in Palestine for over 15 years.

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