Entering any long-term business in a remote location is not for everyone. Add that to the challenges sometimes perceived, sometimes real of long-term business in Africa, projects often struggle for traction. Mere have thought long and hard prior to commencement of the plantation of ways to address these concerns. Mere, as well as growing trees for its own business, contract grow teak trees for companies and institutions. Most of our growing is done through Quayside Fund Management, located in Dublin, Ireland. Quayside are fully regulated and Authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland. They allow syndicate members to take advantage of all of the exciting financial advantages and upside of the Tropical Timber planting and growing industry. They allow members to fully engage themselves in the social and environmental reality of changing environments and lives for the better. Taking full advantage within a known and understood framework and structure. Quayside provide the monitoring and overseeing services craved by many people wishing to become involved in direct climate, and social action in a practical way.
As we move into the next phase of Global development, the old methods are changing. There is an increasing move by both recipient and donor countries to trade-not-aid. In moving from the traditional aid packages to fully supported and quantifiable business relationships, it is important to look carefully at the appropriateness of the industry sectors being championed. As well as direct action in tackling poverty and lack of prospects/opportunity, the trade should be fit for purpose. Ghana has a long track record of investing in its forestry sector. Respected globally as a highly knowledgeable and competent authority, Ghana Forestry Commission are taking the unusual steps of working side by side with the international business community in developing the plantations in country.
Instant benefits of the international community becoming involved in the Ghana plantation business, either as individuals or through businesses:
- Jobs are created for the workers in the local community.
- Private sector jobs are created for the trained workers that have completed the apprentices/training with Ghana Forestry Commission.
- New places are then available for new training contracts with Ghana Forestry Commission.
- Additional sources of hard currency (wages) flow into the local forest communities allowing them to self-develop.
- Skills swap and share takes hold. The knowledge held by the forest-based communities is invaluable to plantation developers, if only we listen.
Mere Plantations have a long-term agreement with the community and Forestry Commission that commits the company to a benefit share of profits made on the plantation site. This is a business set up for there to be no losers. Operating in a structured and controllable fashion, Mere are able to grow volumes of trees previously unavailable for involvement to all but a select few. As we list above, the people in Ghana have a lot to gain. The world secures millions of extra, high-growth, high quality trees.