Derek Newberry

Rising Ventures: Bening Big Tree Farms Aims to Reshape Agriculture in Indonesia

It’s a classic example of traditional vs. “modern,” market efficiency vs. sustainability. Agriculture in Indonesia is largely divided between two types of producers – those that practice environmentally friendly, small-scale methods, and those that have adopted the more efficient, large-scale, Western techniques.

The first is characterized by an intelligent use of resources to stay within the capacity of the natural environment, but also an inefficiency that does not lend itself to profit potential in a market economy. The second has much more growth potential, but is characterized by the unsafe and unsustainable use of pesticides, monocropping and overuse of fertilizer that actually decrease crop yields over time while damaging the local community.

Ben and Blair Ripple created Bening Big Tree Farms to reconcile both – they help conglomerate scattered farmers and focus on high-value crops to help suppliers generate higher profit margins. At the same time, they require and provide assistance for sustainable practices so that financial returns as well as the health of the community will be ensured for generations to come.

The foresightedness and strong business model of Big Tree helped them win this year’s New Ventures Indonesia Investor Forum – learn more about this outstanding business here.