An agricultural impact company, aiming to generate investor returns and lift large numbers of smallholder farmers out of poverty.
Shared-X is on a quest to prove the financial and social goals of a for-profit impact company can be designed to create a multiplier effect for each, rather than being set in opposition to each other.
Shared-X is an agricultural impact company, aiming to generate investor returns and lift large numbers of smallholder farmers out of poverty. The company collapses the “Yield Gap” – the astonishing difference in average bushels per acre when comparing a developed and emerging country farm – by deploying advanced and sustainable farming techniques on high-value specialty crops. Shared-X earns premium prices by producing high-quality crops, and selling them well downstream, skipping middlemen along the way. The Company has already established hub-and-spoke farm systems in Peru and the Dominican Republic, and intends to continue its expansion.
The Company has created a “hub-and-spoke” farm system model, in which Shared-X buys its own mid-sized “hub” farm, and the “spokes” are the very small farms owned by indigent growers. In other words, Shared-X becomes a neighbor of smallholder farmers. Shared-X has demonstrated its ability to deliver dramatic income gains for smallholder farmers by teaching them Shared-X’s advanced, sustainable farming methods, and selling their harvest side-by-side the Company’s for a premium price. In this way, Shared-X’s hub farms serve a dual purpose: cash flow for Shared-X, and a classroom for the community.
It is a wonderful paradox that the Yield Gap represents, at the same time, both a compelling business opportunity and the means to lift out of poverty so many of those suffering at the base of the pyramid. Seventy percent of the world’s poor are smallholder farmers, and therefore agriculture represents the most important industry for the alleviation of global poverty.
The company was founded in mid-2015, and has made large strides forward on both its financial and social goals. Today, there are over 10,000 poor people in the Shared-X system (farmers plus family members), at various stages of integration. Shared-X has raised equity and debt capital from many leading impact and agriculture investment funds.
Links to articles, videos and a podcast relating to Shared-X:
Yale INSIGHTS article featuring Shared-X:
A2Apple article with insights re agriculture investing, which mentions Shared-X towards the end: http://www.a2apple.com/eating-the-farm/
Forbes article featuring Shared-X:
Working Capital Assets podcast featuring Shared-X:
McKinsey article focused on smallholder farms and farmers:
Scientific American article highlighting the opportunities around the Yield Gap, among other topics: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-feed-the-world/
Video of Chairman John Denniston and CEO Tony Salas describing Shared-X, from its Matapalo specialty coffee farm in the Andes Mountains:
Animated video explaining Shared-X’s business and impact: