Mark Breene Announced New CEO of Copalli Rum

Copalli Rum, the award-winning, organic, single-estate rum made in the heart of the southern Belize rainforest, is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Breene as its new Chief Executive Officer. Breene joins brand co-founders Todd Robinson and Anya Fernald to spearhead growth of the sustainable, farm-to-bottle operation.

Breene brings to Copalli more than two decades of experience scaling global and artisanal brands for Rémy Cointreau and Diageo PLC, as well as a deep understanding of sustainable agriculture honed at the helm of American single malt whiskey maker Westland Distillery.

“I’m thrilled to join a brand that shares my philosophy,” says Breene. “A brand that proves it’s possible to be produced as a clean, craft spirit that tastes phenomenal, has no carbon footprint, and empowers the local community all at the same time. I look forward to working with our farmers, distillers, and partners to show consumers around the world that choosing between rum that tastes great and rum that respects the planet doesn’t have to be a choice at all.”

Unlike most rum, which is made from commercial bulk molasses, Copalli Rum is crafted from heirloom local sugarcane varietals, yeast, and filtered rainforest canopy water—all sourced from its own 3,000-acre organic farm. Heirloom sugarcane, largely unutilized in mass production, is sweeter than modern varietals, and yields a clean, uncontaminated, complex rum with a clear expression of terroir.

“The ingredients you choose have a huge impact on your end product,” notes Breene. “Most people think spirits making starts at the distillery, but at Copalli, it begins in the field, with the highest quality inputs possible. The results speak for themselves.”

A truly sustainable spirit, Copalli Rum is distilled within a zero-impact facility powered by regenerative biomass that converts waste from production into agricultural inputs. Copal Tree Distillery, Copal Tree Farm, as well as adjacent luxury eco-resort Copal Tree Lodge, provide meaningful economic impact to the local community through employment opportunities, environmental conservation, and philanthropic initiatives.

“Copalli Rum is unlike anything on the market,” says brand co-founder Anya Fernald. “It’s craft, eco-conscious rum made the old-fashioned way, with the most up-to-date, green technology. Mark gets that. He’s tuned in to the needs of our ecosystem—our community in Belize and our partners around the world—and knows his way around the industry. He’s the right choice to take our business to the next level.”

Copalli is also delighted to announce the appointment of Ryan Pearson as Head of Sales. Pearson’s track record in leadership roles within Constellation Brands, High West Distillery, and The Stoli Group offers the company new proven capabilities to accelerate growth.

About Copalli Rum

Brand co-founders Anya Fernald and Todd Robinson developed Copalli Rum, an organic single estate rum made in the heart of the Southern Belize jungle, in late 2018. Copalli is crafted with passion and sustainability at its core, made from just three ingredients including heirloom sugar cane, yeast, and filtered rainforest canopy water sourced from the distillery’s farm.

The distillery is zero-impact, powered by sustainable, regenerative biomass, and supports full-circle conversion of waste from production into agricultural inputs. The sugarcane used to produce the rum is grown on Copal Tree Farms, so all levels of products can be overseen from start to finish. Rainwater is used to proof the rum down to drinking strength.

Reflecting the terroir of the tropical Belizean farm where it’s produced, Copalli redefines the craft rum category with two grades of product that can be sipped on their own or as a base for classic and modern rum cocktails; current expressions include White and Barrel Rested.

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