Our Approach

Why we do it

Our Approach

Unsustainable agriculture can lead to degraded soils. This is soil that lacks vitality —  it struggles to hold nutrients and is unproductive for growing. With regenerative farming techniques, depleted soils can be revitalised and made fertile again. Healthy soils are not only better for agriculture, they’re essential for climate change mitigation, acting effectively as sinks for the carbon in the earth’s atmosphere. The higher carbon content allows for more water absorption, which is crucial for drought-sensitive areas like the ones where we operate. Life in the soil encourages more life, promoting a naturally robust micro-climate conducive to plant growth without any need for interventions like chemicals and pesticides. All this is obviously good news for farmers and the planet, but evidence increasingly shows that crops grown in healthy soils are actually healthier for our bodies — so it’s good news for us all.

What we do

What we do

We work with farmers to enable them to produce regenerative agricultural products. We build companies to process these products and bring high-quality regenerative ingredients to markets. We make sure everyone along the value chain — not only farmers — works together to fairly distribute the burden of risk. We supply customers with a selection of regeneratively produced tea, herbs, spices and oils.

How we work

Building partnerships

Building partnerships

We work closely with farmers, investors and local organisations to develop long-term relationships, making sure our approach fits within a bigger vision of landscape restoration.

Our roles

Our roles

We are not just there to advise–we carefully select locations where we get actively involved for the long run. In these areas, we build operating companies that can support farmers to bring their regenerative produce to market at the required quality standards, so they can receive a fair price for their work.

Smart crop selection

Smart crop selection

We specialize in high value, low volume, non-perishable crops that can be processed into herbal tea, food ingredients, oils and spices. In order to support more diverse and robust farm systems, we focus on crops that do well in local and regional markets.

Regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture

We support farmers to transition to a ‘beyond-organic’ farming system, which continuously improves soil quality, leading to healthier soils and higher-quality products.

Commitment to quality

Commitment to quality

We strive to deliver premium-quality ingredients, and work tirelessly to optimize our processes at every stage to ensure we deliver on this promise.

Profit sharing

Profit sharing

We reward farmers for their efforts. This means that on top of the purchasing price, farmers receive a kick-back when a product performs well. Farmers are able to realise the upside directly, rather than via dividends or ownership structures.

Contributing to sharing knowledge in the sector

Contributing to sharing knowledge in the sector

We share the successes and failures of our experiences in regenerative agriculture. Because regenerative agriculture is a new and rapidly evolving area of expertise, we often have more questions than answers. We hope to advance this sector through honest communication and open collaboration.

Plant Section Separator

Holistic landscape vision

Rural economies depend on their natural resources. The farmers we work with operate in ecosystems that are degraded — not only does their own soil need to be restored, but so do the natural areas surrounding them. We design our companies to support the restoration of the larger ecosystem. We are seeking to deliver ‘4 Returns’: measurable financial, natural, social and inspirational outcomes. In order to do this, we build strong partnerships with local NGOs, government, and farmer-run organizations. We hope to help farmers earn enough income from their regenerative fields to ensure there’s no need to supplement it by exploiting the natural areas around them. That way these areas can be left alone to provide water and carbon storage functions, and a wealth of biodiversity.

We received our inspiration on holistic landscape visioning from our founding partner, Commonland. You can read more about their approach and philosophy here on their website.

Holistic Landscape Vision

Regenerative agriculture

Grounded brings to market wild and cultivated natural ingredients from farmers in Africa. These ingredients have been grown using regenerative agricultural practices.

Regenerative agriculture is a way of farming that goes well beyond organic and sustainable principles, aiming to reverse the decline of an agro-ecosystem and kickstart a new system that is continually restoring itself. In this model, the farmer, the soil and the biodiversity all become richer. By increasing the carbon content of the soil, it also means we’re contributing to combating climate change.

Getting to a fully functioning regenerative operation is a long process, achieved by incremental successes. To monitor our progress and ensure we’re living up to our values, we established our own sourcing guidelines, which we use in each of the landscapes where we work.

Our guidelines incorporate standards set by market-recognized certification schemes, such as Organic and Regenerative Organic, and Fair Wild.

Our Sourcing Guidelines are based on are the following principles:

1. The ingredients we source and farming practices we employ improve soil quality
2. Wild harvesting follows sustainable management plans
3. Farmers receive a fair share of the value created by their product

Memberships and associations

We are proud members of the following industry associations and organisations.

4 Returns
SAEOPA Association
SAHTA Association
UEBT Member

Join our growth

After much trial and error, numerous collaborations and countless hours invested in regions and landscapes throughout Africa, Grounded has gained the experience and know-how to replicate workable business opportunities that increase our influence and achieve our vision of living soils, thriving farms and conscious consumers.

We hope to build partnerships with agri-entrepreneurs, farmers, ethical brands, funders, investors and organizations who are passionate about land restoration and equitable trade practices and would like to join us at every stage in our journey.

If this is interesting to your office and you would like to explore opportunities together, please get in touch.

Contact us
Join Our Growth