Olives: A New Crop Market for AcreTrader

December 08, 2021

On November 10, AcreTrader successfully launched and funded its first olive offering to investors: the Tehama Olive Ranch. The Ranch is an established 246 gross acre property in Tehama County, California containing a mature, 150-acre high density olive orchard planted in 2010. Additionally, the property also has 60 acres of walnuts planted between 2010 and 2015. This $4 million investment opportunity fully subscribed in just over two hours, demonstrating investor interest in mature, producing orchard investments with secure water resources.

rows of olive trees

For permanent crop investments like fruit and nut orchards, AcreTrader partners with experienced and expert operators who want to grow their business and increase the acreage they farm. AcreTrader works as a capital partner for these growers, whom we call the "sponsors" of our projects.

The sponsor is really the quarterback of these partnerships: they find the opportunity, negotiate and enter a contract on the property, and compile financial projections for the investment. While securing the property, the sponsor sets up a new LLC to complete the purchase and receive investor funds. They also co-invest a small percentage of equity alongside investors on the AcreTrader platform while maintaining full operational control as the Managing Member of that new entity. We, AcreTrader, connect them with passive investor capital. These investors benefit from annual returns from the farming operation, and both the sponsor and investors participate in net profits from the farm and eventual proceeds from the sale of the property.

We like this sponsored offering structure for permanent crops because it aligns incentives well and pairs experienced growers with accredited investors wanting access to a new asset class. Our sponsors are the true experts in the field. We give these individuals the opportunity to farm more acreage, choose the acreage on which they operate, maintain full autonomy through the life of the project, and most importantly, to hold an ownership stake in the land they farm.

For this investment, AcreTrader partnered with Adam Englehardt, a well known farmer and olive oil industry leader in California. From 2008 to 2014, Englehardt managed California Olive Ranch’s expansion from 500 to 10,000 planted acres. In 2014, he became President and CEO of the newly formed Boundary Bend Olives Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Australia’s Boundary Bend Limited (now known as Cobram Estate). At the time of his departure in 2019, Boundary Bend had grown to the third largest olive oil handler in CA and the fastest growing CA olive oil brand in supermarkets.

Since 2019, Englehardt has operated his own firm specializing in the development, management, and harvest of super high-density olives for olive oil. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the California Department of Agriculture-mandated Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC) and is the chairman emeritus of the American Olive Oil Producers Association, which represents domestic olive growers at the federal level.

We’re proud to partner with Adam on the Tehama Olive Ranch, and look forward to future opportunities to grow with him.

Want to grow with us too? Reach out to our Farm Team at (479) 335-5660 to learn more about how we can partner with you.

Zoe Buonaiuto

Investor Relations Manager

Zoe Buonaiuto left bicoastal life behind and happily decamped to Northwest Arkansas in 2020. She first joined AcreTrader as a farm team analyst sourcing permanent crop investments, and now leads our investor relations efforts. She previously held positions in academia and fintech. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her M.A./Ph.D. from Princeton University.

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