Product options were carefully thought through and sourced based on demand, the potential return for investors, and the impact that these assets and the farming operations have on the environment and our community.
Beehives were selected because there is a shortage of quality premium honey produced in South Africa, with increasing attention from consumers on how honey is sourced. Press reports have focused on how imported honey is being supplemented with syrup and that this honey is heated (irradiated) to prevent crystallisation. Many consumers are concerned that heating the product destroys healthy enzymes. Demand for local honey, where the source is known and traceable, will increase.
Blueberries were chosen based on international demand, eco-friendly farming techniques and its status as a superfood. The health benefits of blueberries have made them an increasingly popular fruit in recent years. The blueberry farms that have been selected produce a resilient premium berry. These berries are already in high demand in the UK and Europe as well as our local market. You are buying into a supply of 96 000 blueberry bushes on a previously unused portion of land, which is part of a stable of farms managed by United Exports. The market and supplier relationships are already in place. Blueberry bushes typically double, and then quadruple, the number of berries they produce over a five-year period. Over the term of the investment, your returns will increase because of rising demand pushing up the price of blueberries and the increasing volume of blueberries produced by your bush. These blueberries are drip fed to reduce water consumption, making them environmentally sustainable as well.
In South Africa, we are all aware of the increasing costs of electricity provided by the national supplier. As this cost keeps increasing, corporates and others who own large premises need to look to other sources of electricity. Your solar panels will be installed on commercial, industrial, or retail buildings to provide electricity that will cost less than that charged by the national grid. Your return is based on the power generated by your solar panels. Emergent Energy, our solar farming partner, has over 50 such sites across the country at shopping centres and industrial sites, and is the largest supplier of alternative energy solutions for corporate partners.
More than just a well-known source of a host of health benefits, the global demand for moringa has resulted in the emergence of a number of moringa farms. These commercial farms have subsequently contributed to job creation alongside a renewed interest by local communities in growing and distributing this superfood. Moringa trees also benefit the environment in which they grow, adding nutrients back into the soil and contributing to the growth and health of surrounding crops. As a result, many local communities have started community farms and include moringa trees to improve the quality of their home-grown crops, while providing them with an additional source of income by distributing seeds to nearby farms and selling their own harvests within their communities.
Macadamia nuts are a sought-after commodity worldwide and South African is host to various regions with the perfect climate conditions needed to grow these delicious tree nuts. The global demand has resulted in numerous macadamia farm being established, contributing to the economy, job creation, and the growth of the agricultural sector as a whole. The farmers we have chosen to partner with are driven by their goal to farm sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint and, as a result, use less than a quarter of the average industry water consumption. Because macadamia nuts are seen as a luxury item, they are priced very competitively. Coupled with our partner's above industry-average harvest quantities, investors enjoy consistent, fair returns. This asset is a true embodiment of the Impact Farming values: people, planet, and profit.
Finally, while lettuce might seem like an unlikely choice for an alternative investment, our farming partners have taken this often-overlooked household staple to the next level through innovative farming methods. Grown in vertical stacks housed in a hydroponic greenhouse, our partners use a staggeringly low percentage of water, while providing the lettuce leaves with the nutrients they need, by installing closed water systems fed by the borehole on their land. Through the clever implementation of technology, data, and measurement devices to tend to the technical aspects of ensuring they deliver high quality lettuce leaves, they are able to employ more people to take care of the planting, harvesting, packing, and distribution. The local demand for lettuce, especially for use in restaurants, means that investors get returns that are hard to beat while knowing that their investments are making a positive impact on the environment as well as the local community.
Fedgroup will continue to research and offer more impact farming options as the platform grows.