31 Aug BESTSELLER FOUNDATION SUPPORTS SMALL SCALE FARMERS IN INDIA WITH LAWRENCEDALE AGRO PROCESSING (LEAF) INVESTMENT
FOUNDATION has become shareholder in Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF) that supports small scale farmers at one end and providing top of the range products at the other.
80% of the population in India is involved in farming, but with an average plot size of just under three acres, the farmers as well as the retailers rely on middlemen to buy, transport and process the farm products before they reach the shops.
It is LEAF’s mission to change that. LEAF’s business model is designed to re-engineer the supply chain for farm produce in India – empowering the farmers, the retailers and the consumers.
On average fresh produce in India changes hands seven times which results in loss of and damage to produce as well as a reduction in profit at every step. Ultimately that means low profits for the farmer and mediocre products at relatively high prices for the consumer, with minimum profit for the retailer. LEAF’s business model is based on control of every step of the supply chain – from farm gate to shop shelves.
Active contributor to more efficient value chain
Managing Director of BESTSELLER FOUNDATION Kristian Sloth Petersen has great expectations to the social impact of the investment in LEAF:
‘With this investment BESTSELLER FOUNDATION becomes an active contributor to development of a more efficient value chain to the benefit of producers and customers. We believe that LEAF has the right business model and team in place to be able to scale the business across large parts of India in the coming years. As a consequence, thousands of small scale farmers will increase both their production volumes and income which will impact positively on the livelihoods of their families and communities.’
LEAF supplies 300 retailers (and counting) all over Southern India with high quality produce, cleaned and packed. The produce is sourced from 1,500 farmers who receive high quality inputs and training on good farming practices. At harvest time the farmers can sell their produce to LEAF and are thereby guaranteed a profit.
From 2014 to 2015 data collected by LEAF shows a 25% increase in average productivity among the farmers. Until 2020/-21 LEAF aims to grow its network of farmers to include over 10,000 farmers.
BESTSELLER FOUNDATION’s investment represents roughly 20% of the value of the company. BESTSELLER FOUNDATION has one seat on the board of LEAF.
Mikkel Rytter Poulsen