This summer has been a busy one so far, with encouraging progress in all areas of Farmfolio’s expanding operations. We have been hard at work ensuring things are running smoothly at Panama Golden Pineapple (PGP) and Ganaderia Pietrasanta (GP), and we are once again seeing our efforts pay off.
Since we’re not the type to rest on our laurels, we’ve been exploring new ways to ensure we’re making the most impact possible and are excited to announce new developments in regards to funding, developments on our farms, and even an update on the establishment of The Farmfolio Foundation!
We know it’s a lot to take in, so here’s a quick, convenient breakdown of what we’ve been up to this month!
Ganaderia Pietrasanta (GP)
Pietrasanta 2018 Q2 Video Update
On July 11, we hit the road towards GP, where we were greeted in Monteria by a refreshing 98-degree temperature with 90% humidity. The climate isn’t the only thing heating up here: the team at GP is also busy making moves.
Farmfolio has established a new office in the city, which will serve as a logistics center for GP and the new timber sawmill. Juan David Gaviria will be heading up this office and relocating to Monteria full time to oversee the whole operation. We’re excited to have him step up like this and know that he will be highly effective during the ramp-up of the timber sawmill as well as managing our future teak harvests.
We are also proud to announce that we have established the new branding for the timber mill! Our marketing team is thrilled to announce the naming of the timber mill operation: “Burro Teka”.
The burro (donkey) is a symbol of Monteria and represents strength and longevity. Therefore, it is a perfect representation of teak as a crop and of our operation overall. We are in the process of finalizing the teak contracts with a number of timber growers who will ensure the long-term supply of lumber at Burro Teka.
Once we finalize these supply contracts, we will be updating the financials for distribution to GP investors
This project has added significant value and we are dedicated to furthering its vertical integration strategy by maximizing profit margins using upstream opportunities.
Burro Teka is proud to partner with local growers and teak plantations that have been active throughout the department of Cordoba for over forty years. Most of our teak will be sourced from family-owned hardwood forests and farms, which fosters both environmental responsibility and sustainable development, all while respecting the region’s rich heritage.
Burro Teka will strive to deliver a wide spectrum of high-quality teak products, including rough blocks, flooring, and decking. Moreover, we continue our pledge to simultaneously boost our local economy by empowering local communities and broadening our sustainable forestry program. Burro Teka’s sawmill will process teak without ever cutting corners when it comes to safety, sustainability, or quality. By striving for the absolute best in every aspect of our business, we will produce unbeatable products and continue to attract incomparable human capital. We are dedicated to our line of work, our team, our customers, and our products. Thus, Burro Teka promises to work hard and do the right thing every step of the way. Join us on our journey and let us bring the good back to teak wood
Pietrasanta Teak Plantation
Our teak manager Jose Maria completed the thinning cycle for the year, having marked and quantified the total amount of wood.
The markings on teak wood designate length and help keep track of cuttings.
We ended up harvesting over 4,000 teak trees in order to create space and give more sunlight to the remaining trees. Of the 4,000 harvested trees, approximately 1,600 are large enough to enter the processing mill in December. The teak will be stored at the farm until the mill is operational, at which point the hardwood will be transported to Monteria for processing.
This harvest was a bit under the January projections, however, the remaining trees are very healthy and well ahead of schedule on growth. We expect the next batch of thinnings to be taken out in early 2020.
Coconut plantings are back in full swing! We have expanded our nursery to house many of the bagged coconut plants that are awaiting their turn to be planted. Simultaneously, we are working with a group of local farmers interested in planting coconuts to launch our commercial nursery operation.
The idea is to sell bagged plants with futures contracts to purchase the nuts produced by others. This will create a revenue from plant sales as well as a larger supply of coconuts in order to power a future coconut processing plant, which our team is in the process of designing. We project to start taking orders for coconut plants by the end of 2018!
The reservoirs are beginning to fill up! While June was a bit drier than normal, we still received enough rain to build a good base within both reservoirs. Likewise, we are building additional drainage and channeling to feed more water into our large reservoir.
August will be a busy month since we want to install a total of four pumping stations to power the 5 miles of irrigation pipes that have been laid.
Cattle gains the last two months have been stellar! We are averaging 1.3 kilos on average per day, which is off the charts.
These outstanding results are due to having lowered the number of animals at the farm and to the cattle management team’s extreme attention to detail. The rotations are averaging 110-130 animals being bought and sold monthly. We will continue the rotations through the end of the year and evaluate further expanding the coconut plantation once the original 250 hectares are complete.
Honey Bee Pilot is Ongoing!
The newly installed bee operation at GP has been buzzing! 25 honeycombs have been installed throughout the teak plantation and we are projecting the first honey harvest in early October, once proof of concept has been established, we plan to immediately scale to 200 bee houses.
Panama Golden Pineapple (PGP)
Panama Golden Pineapple Q2 Video Update
Peter Kern and Dax Cooke flew in from Medellin to visit Panama Golden Pineapple in mid-July. They landed early and drove straight out to the farm. This was Peter’s first visit since late January and you can see how much everything has grown since he was here last.
The farm is in excellent shape and ahead of schedule in terms of development. The team is preparing to ramp up production the next few months in an effort to complete 20 hectares by the end of September.
The increased plantings this time of year are designed to time the production to hit the market during the lower production seasons in other markets, primarily Costa Rica. Paul, the consummate engineer, has miraculously been able to carve out another 4 hectares of production by using drone mapping technology. These additional hectares should increase top line revenue by approximately 10%.
The agronomy team is preparing to induce the first lots, which means that we expect to see the first harvest between December 15 and January 15. This puts us right on track with our projections and, with the additional plantings going in by the end of the year, ahead of schedule.
Pineapple projections are exceeding the average pricing of $6.25 per box as a result of new customers requesting more air shipments, which yield a much higher price. Approximately 10-15% of the total harvests in 2019 are slated for air shipment, which could bring the total average box price to $6.75-$7.00, yet another bonus for investors! We are thrilled with the progress so far and investors in PGP should be too!
A Foundation for the Future
The Farmfolio Foundation is also making great progress. Our own Glenn Ojeda is working hard to finish up the bylaws so we can make everything official.
We’re excited to get started on sustainable projects that will support the community surrounding the GP operations. By helping fund and build a library, school, and medical clinic, we’ll be establishing a foundation for the future of both our sustainable agriculture operation and the people who make it possible!
We plan to present the first project and renderings in the Fall of 2018 with a funding goal of December 31! This is an important part of the Farmfolio story: to not only forge ahead towards the future of farming but to drive social progress as well.
Glenn hard at work getting everything official for The Farmfolio Foundation projects
That wraps up all the major moves for this month, but be sure to check out our website for the latest updates and stay tuned for more!