Over the past six years, the ArBolivia Project has raised around £4 million. While this is their fourteenth share offer, it is the first time they are offering both shares and rewards through Crowdfunder. The ArBolivia Project offers up to 5% interest on shares. This time it’s a much lower minimum of £250 investment and in addition to this they are offering rewards for donations.
John Fleetwood said: “When we launched our first share offer in March 2009, it was completely different to any other offer. Typical plantation forestry projects, even so called ‘sustainable’ ones, keep farmers locked in to a system that exports the profits overseas, provides benefits to a small number of employees, and creates ’green deserts’ of identikit, non indigenous trees, ArBolivia was and is, radically different.
“It is a true partnership, where the timber profits are split equally, where farmers are able to sell their produce at a fair price and where farmers get a short-term income whilst the trees grow. Unlike charity, investors get a financial reward and it can be replicated elsewhere. And of course, the 1.5 million trees that we planted have sequestered lots of carbon – equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of 25,000 UK households.
“Share Offer 14 stays true to that same philosophy – it’s about addressing the root causes of deforestation with a business solution that rewards farmers and investors.
“Share Offer 14 will help us to pay farmers for maintaining the trees, to further develop a timber harvesting operation and to provide technical advice and support to around 900 farmers. We are already generating revenues from timber and have a waiting list of farmers wanting to join the project, but the timber revenues won’t meet our costs until 2021 and in the meantime, we need to fund the shortfall.
“We need patient investors, but whilst you wait for your return, you can benefit from a range of ‘money can’t buy’ rewards. At the top end, we are offering an all expenses paid (ex flights) trip to meet the farmers and experience the rich culture of Bolivia. Or you can choose a canvas print from our fantastic gallery, and receive a range of other unique gifts.”
You can view the film, download a copy of the ArBolivia Share Offer 14 document and apply online here. The closing date for applications is 7:15pm on Friday 4 December. Fleetwood added: “I hope you’ll join us in establishing a partnership model of reforestation that puts people first.”