Product options were carefully thought through and sourced based on demand and the potential return for investors. There are currently three options: beehives, blueberry bushes and solar panels.
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.
Finally, 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.
Fedgroup will continue to research and offer more impact farming options as the platform grows.