Here at International Coffee Farms we believe that owning sustainable offshore agriculture for a long-term sustainable income is the… 

Opportunity of the Decade

For almost 3 years now, we have been putting our money where our mouth is. From the summer of 2012 until April 2014, we were consultants to a developing coffee farming enterprise in Colombia, and since June of 2014, we’ve been Principals in our own specialty coffee farms here in Boquete, Panama.

The notion that investing in agricultural land is a very good way to diversify

a risky, highly-correlated and often manipulated portfolio

of paper assets in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETF’s, etc.

…is no surprise to us!

We have told our readers and podcast listeners on numerous occasions that offshore hard assets in stable economies, that are deeded, turnkey-managed, and based on proven products, are a winning combination for your portfolio.

We chose the obvious winning product – specialty coffee! Amongst many advantages, coffee is a proven $90 billion industry worldwide that seems to know no bounds to its growth.

In addition to selecting an obviously world-leading, winning product, we priced our coffee farm parcel ownership opportunities as low as $18,000 so everyone interested had a chance to “kick the trees” to see if this was comfortable for them. We are proud to say that about 220 individual “tree-kicking” investors, with more joining our Merry Band of Panamanian Coffee Farmers every day, now own roughly 710 half-acre coffee farm parcels.

We also understand that the sustainability we constantly talk about is not only economic, but also environmental. The people who are largely responsible for growing and producing the specialty coffee we all desperately need every morning of our lives are the people who produce our profits! Providing social sustainability is a critical pillar in any business model that is going to last for generations to provide a legacy income for you and your heirs.

At International Coffee Farms we have set aside

a full 20% of our coffee farm profits

to ensure the local indigenous Panamanian Indian farmers

working for us are cared for properly.

That’s true social sustainability!

Increased salaries, improved living and working conditions, new sanitary and laundry facilities, and helping with the kid’s educational needs are just a few of the benefits we provide. This bonus pool exists so that all workers can share in the value created by turning poorly-run, existing commercial coffee farms into professionally-run specialty coffee farms. We invest in our people, and we believe they will return the favor by caring for our coffee.

Happy farmers = Happy coffee!

Our unique approach to Social Sustainability is a joint responsibility,

equally shared by the coffee farm parcel owners

and the Principals of International Coffee Farms,

that we all can be proud of.

Moving on to current events in the offshore financial world, what is of interest to us right now is the growing number of sophisticated business people that have been, over the years, getting the word out about the benefits of living and investing offshore. Now, they are adding their endorsement for investing offshore in agricultural land and specialty commodities. This trending advice certainly ratifies our early decision to enter this “real” asset class.

From Jim Rogers telling us on TV and in his books to invest in ag land, to Simon Black of Sovereign Man doing exactly that in Chile, to Porter Stansberry telling us in New Orleans that he is personally buying corn farms in America, and Lief Simon and Kathleen Peddicord telling us all about how to get involved in specialty fruit farms in Panama, it seems International Coffee Farms is in good company.

As you already know, as International Coffee Farm parcel owners and as interested real estate investors, we chose specialty coffee as our vehicle for the future 3½ years ago. As the creators of this successful investment model, we are truly flattered by the respected company we now find ourselves in!

But flattery, although appreciated, doesn’t pay the bills. Investing for cash flow does. Taking what you might incorrectly call an asset that really earns very little or even costs you money (aka “a liability”) and turning it into a cash flow machine is the way to be sure you can retire comfortably when you are ready. If you are waiting for the government to pay you to retire, you are woefully uninformed. Just check out Greece and most of the rest of Europe (and the USA) to see how well that is working out!

An example of such a so-called “asset” is a fully paid for, debt-free home that you still live in, with all the kids gone, and it’s way too big for the 2 of you and your cat (or dog). That’s not an asset; it’s a liability. Property taxes, maintenance and repairs, insurance, etc. are all money out of your pocket that could be better used in retirement. Selling that “liability” and downsizing or leveraging it with affordable, long-term, fixed debt, and investing the profit in cash-flowing real estate could be one way for you to gain “sustainable income” for retirement without depending on the financial markets or the government (or your kids goodwill).

Written by: David Sewell

David Sewell
David (65) is Canadian and has lived, worked and invested in Latin America since 1989. Well-educated and well-traveled, David joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1968 and served for 12 years as a shipboard Officer. He holds an MBA in finance (1980) and a B.Sc in biology (1972) and has been licensed as a Realtor and a Stockbroker. With an extensive business background in venture capital and offshore private wealth management, David provides a diverse portfolio of international expertise to anyone interested in offshore real estate investing.
David Sewell

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