Corekees was founded by cousins Nick van Heesewijk and Tamar van Heesewijk. Nick and Tamar wanted to make the combination of sustainability and making money attractive. Nick has worked for several years as a marketing consultant, Tamar as a financial consultant. Both now want to make a difference with Corekees. They are supported by the Corekees team and an Advisory Board.
As a company, we want to make as big a positive impact as possible. The best way to measure this is through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals define 17 sustainable development objectives to promote prosperity while protecting the planet from climate change. Corekees contributes to 9 of the 17 goals:
- (#2: No Hunger) Due to the growing world population, the demand for meat and soy is increasing. As a result, more and more land is being deforested in South America. Project Silva's Silvopasture farming method prevents further direct or indirect land-use change (ILUC), provides reforestation instead of deforestation and ensures the continuity of food production.
- (#7: Affordable and Sustainable Energy) The crude oil from the nuts of our Pongamia trees are qualified as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) or Renewable Diesel. Once refined, this green renewable diesel is cleaner than fossil fuels and itself cleaner than conventional biodiesel.
- (#8: Fair Work and Economic Growth) In the reforestation area of Project Silva in Paraguay, all local workers are paid above the local minimum wage. They are also provided with high-quality facilities to work and live. This is an essential part of the company's philosophy.
- (#9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) In our reforestation area on the Rio Paraguay river, the border between Brazil and Paraguay, modern agricultural methods are applied. In addition, facilities are being developed to press the nuts, and ports are being built from which the raw Pongamia oil is shipped to refineries. Our oil is then used for sustainable transport, which results in a large reduction of CO2 emissions.
- (#11: Sustainable Cities and Communities) Cars, trucks and ships can be powered by 100% renewable fuel. Aircraft are certified to fly on a 50/50 renewable diesel blend. The whole process from refining to the use of HVO fuels and the permanent CO2 compensation of the trees has a positive climate impact compared to the use of fossil fuels. This means that more CO2 is compensated by our Pongamia trees than is emitted by oil in its entire life cycle.
- (#12 Responsible Consumption and Production) Reforestation and expansion of cattle land naturally recreate roads. Once the trees are planted, they do not require fertilization or intensive maintenance (such as watering). At the same time, the cattle eat from the grass next to the trees and from the protein that comes from the nuts of the trees. The shell of the nuts can also be used as natural manure, for example, to fertilize the trees. This method is called: Silvopastoral Agriculture which means that the land is used for trees and cattle.
- (#13: Climate Action) Our Pongamia trees were only planted on marginal land deforested more than 10 years ago. Therefore, Project Silva involves effective reforestation. No additional deforestation occurs, and the cattle that already walked on this land continue to use it. Therefore there is no Indirect Land Use Change. Furthermore, the roots of the Pongamia tree give nitrogen to the soil. This provides natural fertilization, which enriches the soil. Because the trees also provide shade for the grazing cattle, the land is used more efficiently than land without trees.
- (#15: Living on the land) The indigenous inhabitants of the Paraguayan Chaco are directly involved in Project Silva. The cutting and planting of trees create local employment, and the provision of their land also provides additional income for local farmers.
- (#16: Partnership to achieve goals) Corekees Foundation only enters into partnerships with sustainable organizations and parties with good intentions. Therefore we have chosen Investancia as our Premium Partner. Investancia is a specialist in the field of sustainability, reforestation and oil in Latin America. Furthermore, we work together with people and organizations who pursue the same goals and ambitions. Examples are SHV Energy, Climate-KIC and GoodFuels.
The AFM regulates the Dutch financial markets and protects investors and organisations. For some (financial) products, a license is required. Stichting Corekees offers bonds, which are considered (financial) securities by Dutch law. There is an exception to the ban on offering these (Article 3:5 of the Financial Supervision Act). An investment in securities is exempt https://www.afm.nl/nl-nl/consumenten/themas/advies/voorbereiden/vrijstelling) from the prospectus obligation if the total counter value of the securities offered is less than €5 million, calculated over a period of 12 months.
These offers however, must be reported to the AFM through an information document. We have done this, and you can read all about it here.
The Pongamia Tree
We at Corekees have the right to visit the trees at any time. We would, of course, like to share this right with you as a tree/bondholder, if practically possible. In the near future, we plan on organizing trips to Paraguay. Are you interested in this? Let us know!
No, you do not. The trees/bonds are tradable. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee any because a buyer must be found for your tree/bond. We must always approve all traded trees/bonds to know who to inform and who to contact to deliver the bonds and the payments. Want more information? Read our terms and conditions.
We don’t. Thanks to our activities, we actually increase biodiversity! We only plant on marginal land. This island has been deforested for more than 10 years and is not suitable for agriculture. The land is now used exclusively for cattle grazing, and our trees just add to that. The cattle don't eat from the trees, but they do enjoy the shade of the branches. In theory, we can plant 1000 trees per hectare. However, we only plant 250 per hectare so that there is space for the indigenous flora and fauna. The trees house many birds, and in the spring of 2021, Jaguars have been spotted for the first time in a long time!
Investing Project Pongamia
We have opted for a purchase contract with a fixed price per kilogram of nuts. This is so that we can offer our investors a certain security in the return. Our purchase contract states that if "market prices rise or fall significantly due to, but not limited to, unforeseen circumstances..." We can renegotiate the price or terminate the contract. Thus, we retain the ability to respond to any inflation. However, our expectation is that this renegotiation will not come from inflationary increases, but rather, for example, from increases in the price of the green oil (HVO) that our trees produce.
The two founders, Nick and Tamar, have certainly invested in trees too! They both have a fair number of 'one-off' trees as well as 'time-saving subscriptions. They prefer to keep the exact amount to themselves. By the way, they also put all their 'other' savings into their business. Besides Nick and Tamar, others within the Corekees team also have a considerable amount of bonds.
RISKS PROJECT PONGAMIA
We work with an agricultural product. This means that an exact prediction is impossible. Nature cannot be predicted.
Although the Pongamia tree has been extensively researched and developed scientifically, the concept of the Pongamia tree and its oil (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) is relatively young. Unforeseen circumstances like frost or long periods of drought can negatively influence the production of the trees. Read all about the risks in our information document.
The 'tree factory' we do business with is located on the 'Rio Paraguay' - the river that separates Brazil and Paraguay and flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Buenos Aires. The Rio Paraguay is, in fact, the artery for our crop yields. Buenos Aires, however, is still more than 1500 kilometres from our trees. The river itself, therefore, has no direct threat from a rising sea level. It does face the threat of erosion. This is dealt with by building 'quay walls' in the period when the river is at its lowest so that the waves of passing traffic do not slowly erode the ground.
Project Pongamia Subscription
If you no longer want to save for trees, the monthly withdrawals from your bank account will stop. Of course, all the trees you have saved at the moment of stopping will remain yours, and you will still benefit from the returns 20 years after the last tree.
For example, you save 1 tree every month for 10 years. Then you have saved a total of (10 x 12 trees =) 120 trees. After saving for 10 years, you stop the subscription. The trees you saved in year 1 are still yours for (20 - 10 =) 10 years. The trees you saved in year 10 are still yours for (20 - 0 =) 20 years. Calculate your return on the project page.