John Scharffenberger


John Scharffenberger, Director

John Scharffenberger is a consultant to the farming and food production industry, offering a wide range of programs and services including agronomic analysis, product development, management and marketing to help both for-profit and non-profit producers sustainably increase returns. His clients have included Hodo Soy, Farmhouse Culture, Tout Sweets Patisserie, Front Porch Farms, Kaia Foods and Daylesford Organics among others. Prior to establishing his consultancy, he developed companies that combined agronomic innovation, sustainable production technologies and international brand development in the wine, chocolate and forestry industries, including Scharffenberger Cellars and the first artisanal chocolate company in the U.S., Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker.

An avid gardener and amateur forester, he devotes substantial time to learning about food production processes on his 350-acre ranch in Mendocino County. He believes that a comprehensive study of cultural, historic and environmental contexts is the proper basis to achieve sustainable and successful food production.

Mr. Scharffenberger received a BA in Agricultural Geography from University of California, Berkeley in 1973. He served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at London Business School in 2007 and has recently spoken at UC Berkeley commencement ceremonies, Brown University, and various symposia relating to small food production. Mr. Scharffenberger serves as trustee on the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources advisory board, as a board member of Save the Redwoods League and is an emeritus advisory board member of the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens.